Randolph County voters must vote on a sales tax increase - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Randolph County voters must vote on a sales tax increase

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On Monday afternoon kids at Chester Grade School ran and played on their school play ground. But it may soon be the site of the school's new gymnasium. On Monday afternoon kids at Chester Grade School ran and played on their school play ground. But it may soon be the site of the school's new gymnasium.
Voters are split on the 1% sales tax increase proposed by the school district to help with repairs, and new construction of buildings. Voters are split on the 1% sales tax increase proposed by the school district to help with repairs, and new construction of buildings.
The entire rear wall of the gym began pulling away from the building this past Fall after a heavy rain. The entire rear wall of the gym began pulling away from the building this past Fall after a heavy rain.
CHESTER, IL (KFVS) -

On Monday afternoon kids at Chester Grade School ran and played on their school play ground. But it may soon be the site of the school's new gymnasium.

This past year the State of Illinois condemned the current gym because it's unsafe.

The entire rear wall of the gym began pulling away from the building this past Fall after a heavy rain.

"This has really impacted our day to day activities," said Tim Lochhead, principal at Chester Grade School." This is a critical part of our day. We're a Pre-K through 8th Grade. So we have about six hundred and fifty kids. It's every hour of every day this gym was occupied. Not only for inclement weather, but obviously for physical education classes."

Voters are split on the 1% sales tax increase proposed by the school district to help with repairs, and new construction of buildings.

"I think it would be great because the schools really need it," said Rachael Stuart owner, Friends Helping Friends First. "I've heard about a lot of the problems with the schools. And I really think the schools need the extra money."

"It's just like when they did the lottery tickets. They said all that money was going to be for the schools and stuff," said Ed Fricke of Rockwood. "It's going some place, it's not going to the schools. So I'm against any sales tax increase for schools."

The revenue generated by the proposed sales tax increase can only be used for building maintenance and new construction.

And without the added funds Superintendent of Chester Community Unit School District No. 139 Chris Dittlebock, says it's going to be hard to keep up on things now and in the future at the schools.

"It will limit what we can do in the future. And what we can do over a short period of time that we have by bonding to help do something with the gym. We'll lose some opportunities from the state to match grants. Because we don't have enough money to fund some of those grants," said Superintendent Diddlebock.

The current sales tax rate in Randolph County is 6.25%, that would increase by one percent if voters approve the measure at the polls on Tuesday.

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