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Commissioners approve school election results

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“We feel like this is an investment, not just of your money, but of your trust in Roswell schools,” said Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Ann Lynn McIlroy about voters’ approval of a bond measure and a 2 mill levy. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The money voters have approved for the Roswell Independent School District by passing a bond and a property tax measure earlier this week, and the trust indicated by voters’ approval, “will not be squandered. It will be taken and it will be magnified,” said Superintendent Ann Lynn McIlory.

She addressed the Chaves County Board of Commissioners Friday afternoon after they voted to ratify the results of the school elections for Roswell and Hagerman, conducted by special mail-in ballots that were due Tuesday.

The Roswell school district’s general obligation bond measure, which will provide up to $14 million for local public schools, was approved 4,311 to 1,822. The RISD 2 mill levy, a six-year extension of an existing property tax, received 3,996 votes in favor and 2,194 votes against. All told, 6,663 valid votes were cast in the RISD election, which had 30,121 ballots mailed out.

The bond money is slated for major school construction. The 2 mill levy, which assesses $2 of tax for every $1,000 of the value of property within the school district taxing area, will be used for maintenance, repairs, upgrades and technology improvements.

Renovations of Washington Avenue Elementary and Mountain View Middle School are top capital priorities for the district.

“It is a ways out. We are just getting design going on our last one, for Mesa (Middle School),” she said. “We just know that those are the ones that are slated next.”

McIlroy told commissioners that many other districts in the state were not successful in their ballot measures.

“We are so pleased with the results and want to be good stewards of those dollars,” she said. “We feel like this is an investment, not just of your money, but of your trust in the Roswell schools …. And we are going to do everything in our power to make every person, regardless of whether you voted for it or not — whether you voted or not — to make you proud of what we are able to create here in Roswell.”

Hagerman Municipal Schools also successfully passed a 2 mill levy, extending the existing tax from 2019 to 2024. Of 1,027 ballots mailed out to eligible voters, 209 valid ballots were cast, with 134 voting for the tax and 75 voting against.

Superintendent Ricky Williams thanked voters Tuesday night after unofficial results were announced by the Chaves County Clerk’s Office and also said the funds will be used for needed facility repairs and to provide for safe and enriching learning environments.

The cost to school districts of mailing the ballots was $7,545, according to Chaves County Clerk Dave Kunko. He added that costs were reduced by $7,344 by paying an upfront fee of $690 to reduce the cost of ballots returned by mail from $1.31 each to 64 cents each.

He added that mail-in elections were previously determined by the county to cost about $5,000 to $8,000 less than opening a voting convenience center for a small precinct. In-person voting requires poll workers and the setting up of a computer system, which increases costs considerably, he said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.