School, Water Bonds make clean sweep

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2004

JACKSON – With Northampton County on the verge of an industrial revolution, the road to riches is paved with solid infrastructure. That foundation was bolstered on Tuesday by the voters of Northampton County.

By an overwhelming majority, county citizens approved referendums for water and school improvements. The water bond referendum passed by a 3,298-to-631 margin. Meanwhile, Northampton voters placed their stamp of approval on the school bond referendum by a 3,029-to-879 count.

Both measures gained the upper hand by wide margins in each of the county’s 18 precincts.

The passage of the $8 million water bond will allow Northampton County to finance, in part, the acquisition, construction and equipping of modifications, additions and extensions to the existing water supply and distribution system owned by the county through general obligation bonds.

The estimated cost of the project is $8,971,000, of which $971,000 has already been obtained by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), leaving the balance of $8 million.

In addition, the successful passage of the $9 million school bond will make it possible for the county to construct a new educational facility without raising taxes and consolidate students from Jackson Eastside and Seaboard-Coates Elementary Schools into one location.

The facility will be capable of providing students with an environment tailored to their educational needs with increased access to technological resources.

By casting their vote in favor of the school bond, citizens have given the county permission to utilize money earmarked for education, already collected from sales tax, to go towards paying off general obligation bonds for a school facility that will better serve the students and the community by avoiding the counterproductive efforts of sinking funds into educationally and energy deficient structures.

Approximately 25 percent of the money collected from sales tax is designated and required to be spent for public school capital outlay or indebtedness incurred for school capital outlay.

The school bond will also be used for roof repairs to some of the existing buildings as well as construction of a new administrative building.