Vilonia School District looking to build multimillion dollar project

11Listens: Millage increase vote in Vilonia

VILONIA, Ark. (KTHV) -- Next week, taxpayers in Vilonia will head to the polls to vote on an additional millage increase.

Here's a look at the multimillion dollar project the district wants to build. It includes an auditorium, a career and technical education building, along with renovation plans to the high school.

Now to the costs. The district is asking voters to approve a 5.7 millage increase to fund the $33 million project in three phases. That would mean an additional $114 a year for homeowners, based on a home with a $100,000 market value. It's an added cost some say they can't afford

"I understand that and so I’m not going say that’s an easy part of this job, but my primary role as superintendent and our primary as a school district is to look at what we need to provide the best educational opportunities to our students,” said Vilonia Superintendent Dr. David Stephens.

So far, the district has received $4.2 million in state aid and would be responsible for nearly $29 million towards the project. The proposed 5.7 millage would cover the remainder of the cost.

They said the assessments are based on homes and property because of lack of business in Vilonia, but the Millage Committee Chairman Ed Seller said it's something that's needed for the district to grow.

"We feel that significantly upgrading our high school will be a calling card to our community and that will in turn increase business in our community and more people wanting to come and live in our community," said Seller.

Right now, the current millage rate of 39.9 would increase to 45.6 mills if taxpayers vote yes. Residents can cast their vote September 19. If the millage is approved, it could be one of the highest tax rates at the state level.  

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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