Ozark school leaders work to build support for tax referendum

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Ozark, AL (WSFA) - Architects have been hired to construct a new high school in Ozark.

The only problem now is paying for it, and the new school could mean higher taxes.

Teacher Carol Hohbach is looking forward to the possibility of a new Carroll High School.

She's hoping the word "tax" doesn't scare the community.

Hohbach says, "I think in this economy people are really worried about that, but in the end, it's really going to help this area financially and bring more people to the area."

The reason the architects were hired before that referendum passes is so folks have the chance to see exactly what the new school would look like.

Ozark City Schools Superintendent Mike Lenhart said, "Everybody in Ozark knows we need a new school, but we can't build it without money."

With a price tag of around $23 million dollars, the fate of the new school hinges on a property tax vote scheduled for April.

Lenhart said, " For the average citizen in this community, this would cost them less than a can of soda pop a day.  Twenty-seven cents a day."

He says he is optimistic about the vote, and teachers are hopeful too.

Hohbach says, "I think it's going to be a huge impact on our whole community."

A decision that Mr. Lenhart says has the potential to be the biggest project for the city in fifty years.

If that referendum in April fails, the school will have to pay the architecture firm $118,000 for their preliminary design work.

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