ALMA, Ark. — Voters in the Alma School District will have a unique opportunity this election, the chance to lower taxes.
The district wants to build new facilities and are asking voters for their help.
”Because of the record low-interest rates and the opportunity to reorganize our existing bonds we’re able to generate the revenue we need to build some buildings while at the same time lower the tax rate," said David Woolly, Superintendent of Alma School District.
The issue on this year's ballot asks residents to vote for or against a millage decrease.
"In this case, the purposed mileage rate will be one mill less than it is currently, and if approved that would go into effect in January," Wolly said.
The money will help with maintenance costs for repairs to driveways, parking lots and the roof.
It would also help pay for a new student activities center at the high school and expand the administration building, but most notably a brand-new agricultural facility.
"We do a lot of hands-on things or we’re supposed to but right now with our current facilities with a classroom and science lab there’s only so much we can do," said Lakan Brumley, agricultural education instructor.
After a 15 years hiatus, the Alma School District finally brought the agriculture program back last year.
“Agriculture is what feeds the world and puts clothes on people’s backs. We produce the food and fiber, and fuel for the world," Brumley said.
What’s now a parking lot next to the high school could soon be the new home of the ag program. Plus, a barn for animals, and a greenhouse for planting.
“We would be able to go out to a barn every single day for class and students would get to experience that hands-on or go to a shop and learn how to weld. It would definitely change the way our class looks a lot," Brumley said.
That’s if the voters decide to make that dream a reality.
If voters approve the school millage decrease construction on the new ag building is expected to start either sometime this winter or in early spring.