Monroe Chamber supports Eastside OPSB bond proposal - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Monroe Chamber supports Eastside OPSB bond proposal

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Monroe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to support the Ouachita Parish School Board east-side bond proposition that will be on the May 3 ballot. The proposal authorizes the Ouachita School Board to issue bonds that will generate $28 million for construction projects on eastern Ouachita Parish schools.

The purpose of issuing the additional bonds is to construct a new middle school in the Swartz area, which will help reduce enrollment at Ouachita Parish Junior High school. Ouachita Parish Junior high school has almost 1,000 students, the third largest school enrollment in the region. In addition, the proposal will provide more secure and safe school environments at all east side Ouachita Parish schools and add additional classroom space at several schools. The general obligation bond will be paid by extending the ad valorem taxes levied at an estimated 30 mills an additional year.

Before taking a position on the tax, the Monroe Chamber Governmental Committee met with Superintendent Bob Webber and Finance Director Juanita Duke to discuss the tax proposal and the use of the additional $28 million the tax will generate. In addition, Superintendent Webber provided a tour of several east-side Ouachita Parish Schools to show how the funds would be used to improve facilities.

"With the growth in east Ouachita and Sterlington it is clear that we need to build additional capacity at east-side Ouachita Parish schools," said Tim Green, Chairman for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Providing these additional funds will allow the Ouachita Parish School System to do that and to improve the security of all the schools on the east side."

The Chamber's Governmental Division monitors the programs, policies and actions of all taxing authorities in Ouachita Parish. Since businesses pay approximately 86% of all property taxes in Ouachita Parish, the Monroe Chamber is keenly interested in property tax initiatives. After meeting

with Superintendent Webber and Duke several times and reviewing the tax proposal, the Monroe Chamber board agreed that it is important to the wellbeing and education of the students who attend public schools in Ouachita Parish that the tax proposal pass and the chamber board voted to support the measure.

Early voting begins April 19-26 and the general election will be held Saturday, May 3.

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