Three area school held elections Tuesday for a property tax levy, and all three failed to get the voter's support.
Van-Far school district was asking for $.58 operating levy. Voters in Audrain, Ralls and Pike counties voted on the levy. Audrain's totals were 168 no, 125 yes; Ralls County voters defeated the levy with 22 no and 11 yes; in Pike County it was a tie 10 no and 10 yes. The total vote was 200 no to 146 yes.
Dr. Stephen Hunter, superintendent of the Van-Far district, said the district has been decreasing expenses and will continue to do that. He added it was too early to make decisions on what to do next.
North Callaway voters defeated a $.75 operating levy by a total vote of 577 no to 460 yes. Boone County voters voted 7 yes, 0 no; it was a tie in Audrain County with 4 yes, and 4 no. Callaway County totals were 573 no and 449 yes. The total votes were 577 no, 460 yes.
Superintendent Bryan Thomsen, said the board had discussed the possibility of cuts if the levy did not pass. "We are going to have to reevaluate and continue doing the best with what we have to work with," he said. "We will have to do some adjustments," he said. Thomsen said he does not anticipate to many big changes. "We will do what is best for the staff and students," he stated.
Centralia School District has not have a tax levy change in the past 10 years. The total vote for the district was 660 no, 592 yes. The breakdown by county includes: Audrain County, 155 no, 133 yes; Boone County 505 no and 459 yes.
The district was asking for a $.60 operating levy. "It is disappointing," said Superintendent Darin Ford. He said they basically asked the community if they wanted to keep going like they were doing or make tough decisions.
Ford said the board began discussing putting a levy increase on the board about a year ago due to the uncertainly of state and federal revenues. Some concerns include students' needs, salary and transportation.
Ford said this year's budget has been approved and balanced. He said they may have to look at all areas and decide what programs and staffing needs to be cut. "It is going to be tough," he said.