Watson Chapel voters reject millage increase

Voters living in the Watson Chapel School District rejected a special election ballot measure Tuesday asking them to approve a 5-mill increase to the current district millage of 31.8.

Unofficial results reported by the Jefferson County Election Commission show 191 votes in favor of the millage increase to 256 votes against it.

District Superintendent Danny Hazelwood was disappointed by the results.

“We realize it’s hard economic times for people,” Hazelwood said. “I can understand the difficulty of it. We will try again somewhere along the line — regroup and try it from a different angle.”

Hazelwood said that plans by the district to construct a new middle school are now in jeopardy.

“This really puts a kink in our plan for a new middle school,” Hazelwood said. “The likelihood that we can now come up with the funds to purchase the land and to pay our portion of the funding for the school is kind of out of the question at this point. We will make that decision in the next few days.”

Hazelwood said that he will be meeting with district financial adviser Jack Truemper of Stephens Incorporated to discuss the district’s options moving forward.