OZARK, Mo. — Ozark residents will have the opportunity to vote on two different questions relating to the school district.

The first question, if passed, will construct three storm shelters through a $19 million no tax increase bond. The storm shelters will be at Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center, Ozark Middle School and Ozark High School.

At Tiger Paw, the storm shelter would double as a commercial kitchen and cafeteria. Kids currently eat food brought from East Elementary and sit in the gymnasium. Ozark Middle School’s storm shelter will double as classroom space while the high school’s shelter will double as a physical education and practice space.

“Safety continues to be a top priority for Ozark School District and the families of Ozark,” Superintendent Dr. Chris Bauman said. “The two questions on the ballot will not only address safety but help us accommodate our continued growth.”

The second question is over a 10 cent no tax increase levy transfer to help offset rising operating costs. Bauman said the school was required by state law to transfer 17 cents from the general operating fund to the debt service fund.

“This transfer must be approved by the voters and will provide the District approximately $500,000 annually to help offset rising operating costs,” Bauman said.

The overall tax levy of $4.14 will remain the same, regardless of the vote on both Question 1 and Question 2. The District’s tax levy has remained unchanged since 2003.

“We have appreciated the enthusiastic and comprehensive involvement of the community in working with us on this plan,” said Tom Bass, the board president. “The community has supported the need for continuing safety measures, and we have also taken into consideration increased growth within the District. In this plan, we address safety as well as future growth for the community and the school district. All of this will be accomplished without asking our community for a tax increase.” 

Here is how the questions will look on the April ballot:

Question One

Shall Ozark R-VI School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $19,000,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, repairing, renovating, furnishing and equipping school sites and facilities, including constructing storm shelters at the Early Childhood Center, Middle School and High School and, to the extent funds are available, completing capital improvements consistent with the District’s Long Range Plan? 

Question Two

Shall the Board of Education of Ozark R-VI School District be authorized to increase the operating tax levy ceiling to $3.1853 per $100 of assessed valuation according to the 2022 assessment for operating expenses and funding capital projects of the District, including maintaining competitive compensation for employees to attract and retain qualified faculty and staff?