Mt. Vernon Register-News


February 9, 2006

City sets hearing on new-school issue


MT. VERNON — The City Council will host a public hearing later this month to discuss the city’s possible role in helping to fund the construction of a new high school here.

City Manager Roy Payne set the hearing for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Rolland Lewis Community Building in Veterans Park prior to the City Council meeting.

The hearing will come four days after Payne and other city officials make a trip to Springfield to discuss issues with the Capital Development Board. City Councilman David Keen, who initiated that meeting, said it will be held 10 a.m. Feb. 17.

During the hearing, it’s expected that city officials will share what was learned at the meeting with the CDB, discuss possible funding options, field questions from the public and hear public comment.

After a yearlong study, a Mt. Vernon Township High School committee made up of community members recently advised the high school board that, after reviewing several options, it was their opinion that a new high school should be built at a different location.

MVTHS board members — with the exception of Pat Garrett — passed a resolution calling for a new high school to be built if money becomes available from the state.

Garrett made a motion to put the question of renovation or building in the form of a referendum on the March ballot, but his motion died for lack of a second.

Mayor Milt Sees said if the school district receives funding for a new school, the city may find a revenue stream to help pay for it. Construction of a new school is expected to cost about $44 million.

Both Sees and Keen have already publicly stated that they’re not in favor of property taxes paying for the school; Keen also said he is not in favor of a sales-tax increase.

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