Are you in favor of the St. Elizabeth School District tax levy increase?


St. Elizabeth R-IV patrons will be asked to decide on a 99-cent operating tax levy increase to fund a Federal Emergency Management Agency safe house and new gymnasium, which will be housed in the safe house. 

If approved by voters, the district will be able to borrow $3.825 million in lease financing for the project.

Financing would result in $3.724 million up front for the projects, with a yearly transfer of $65,000 from fund 4 (using local and state assessed revenue generated by the 99-cent) for 20 years.

This would be a 20-year note, with an early payoff option. The board would also have the option at that time, to do a voluntary levy rollback.

The district has also received approval for FEMA grant funding for the safe house portion of the project.

This is a 75/25 grant, meaning the district will pay 25 percent of the approved square footage.

Plans call for the building to be located due east of the school cafeteria, and when used as a safe room, will accommodate 740 people.

The current gym was built in 1968, with the stage and cafeteria added in 2000. It was the district’s last major building project.

The district’s current gym, which seats 568, is not regulation sized, prohibiting the district from hosting district and other post-season contests per Missouri State High School Activities Association regulations.

The gym in the new FEMA building could seat up to 750.

Using the bleachers and floor space for an event such as graduation, the seating capacity would be closer to 1,245 people.

Should the operating levy fail, the FEMA safe room would still be built with a completely different design, giving the district a facility approximately the same size as the current gym building, which is 6,000 square feet.