By Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — The votes are in. The Barr-Reeve Schools referendum has passed with 666 constituents in the district voting yes.
“I feel so blessed to work for such a wonderful corporation in such a tremendous community,” Barr-Reeve Superintendent Travis Madison said after the final results were tallied.
About 35.7 percent of the 2,255 registered voters in three precincts; Barr 1, Barr 2 and Reeve placed ballots. Only 141 voters said no to the measure that will allow the school corporation to levy a tax increase of up to 35 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The school will only be able to levy what cannot be supported by the general fund and the school district will have to list the things that will be covered and paid for out of the referendum fund.
Currently, the corporation is among the lowest in the area for its tax rate which is at 60 cents now and will drop to about 50 cents next year.
“The increase would be added to the 50 cent base we will have next year,” said Madison.
Eastern Greene Schools has the highest tax rate in the area at over $1.80. North Knox has the lowest rate at about 50 cents.
School Board President Joe Cummings said, “I’m just proud of the Barr-Reeve community for coming out and saying yes to the referendum. It shows a lot about our people and supporters and I’m glad we don’t have to waterdown Barr-Reeve and we can still provide a good education at a rate that will still be one of the lowest in the area.”
Barr 1 district, which includes Montgomery had the highest voter turn out registering 411 votes. Just over 88 percent of residents in the district voted in favor.
Barr 2 district, including Cannelburg and the area near West Boggs, turned in 245 votes with just under 75 percent voting in favor. Reeve district had 151 voters with just over 80 in favor.
“At Barr-Reeve, we have all four cornerstones firmly in place that I feel are vital to having a successful small school in today’s educational climate. We have a very dedicated staff, engaged students and involved parents and a devoted community. In order for small schools to survive, you have to have all four in place and working together,” said Madison.
Madison stressed that he and the school board would continue to make decisions that are in the best interests of students of the students in a fiscally responsible way.