In a little more than one week, voters in the Minden area will decide whether or not to approve a property tax for capital improvements and construction within Webster Parish School District 6.
We think you should approve the millage increase. There are many good reasons to do so.
First of all, this tax is for many projects, all of which have been outlined during two public meetings at J.L. Jones and E.S. Richardson schools respectively. Tonight, the same public meeting and presentation will be offered at Minden High School.
As officials outlined, E.S. Richardson and J.L. Jones Elementary share a lot of the same needs, but the biggest concern is the heating and air-conditioning systems. “They are very old and worn out, with the boiler at J.L. Jones posing a safety concern,” the report read. It was decided they either need to be replaced or eliminated. Both schools are in need of upgrades to their alarm and security systems, roof systems and windows are due for replacement. The original water and sewer lines that serve both schools are a constant source of trouble and are in need of a replacement, as well. The students bathrooms have recently been refurbished, but the faculty restrooms are inadequate in numbers and condition.
The most notable improvement project is a new field house for Minden High School’s football team. Minden High has been without a permanent facility since 2016 when the old field house was condemned, along with the football stadium.
The football program is currently located in the Industrial Arts department, which has displaced a few of the other programs. Minden High is also needing an appropriate classroom and drill space for the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Program, along with additional classrooms for now and in the future.
No one questions the need. Some may question a millage increase to fund these projects. However, this is the best option for the district to move forward in a timely manner. The needs are a high priority for the school district and so should be the funding.
We believe Superintendent Johnny Rowland and the Webster Parish School Board did their homework and came up with the best plan they could to address the need. However, they need the voters to back the plan.
We say we want our schools to be successful. We say we support our athletic programs. We say we education is important. This is where we decide to put action to our words.
Vote yes on May 4.