Columbia residents approved the Columbia Public School Board’s 30 million dollar bond proposal and tax levy increase in last night’s municipal election.
Columbia Public School board member Jonathan Sessions said he and the other members of the school board recognize how much they asked of the community.
“I am thankful that the community chose to tax themselves. To take on this burden, to support our schools and in doing so support our community,” Sessions said.
The 30 million dollar bond will primarily go toward land purchase and construction of a new middle school and the expansions of existing schools throughout the district.
The tax levy increase of 65 cents per one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of Columbia homes and businesses will contribute to the district’s operational costs such as increasing student enrollment, teacher recruitment and maintaining current programs.
Last night’s bond and tax levy passage was the first set of municipal election approvals for Columbia Public Schools Superintendent, Peter Stiepleman.
“This is my first time as superintendent. I was the assistant superintendent the last time we had an election for which I thought our superintendent looked incredible calm but now I realize his entire stomach was probably eating him alive,” Stiepleman said.
Stiepleman said he feels the passage of the bond and levy was a district team effort.
The bond proposal passed with a margin of 74% while the tax levy increase was in a tight race throughout the night and eventually passed with 52% of the vote.
“I can’t lie to you. I was stressed out of my mind,” Stiepleman said.