Site for Columbia elementary school undecided, board increases tax levy

Thursday, August 22, 2013 | 1:10 p.m. CDT; updated 1:27 a.m. CDT, Friday, August 23, 2013

COLUMBIA — Columbia School Board members met in closed session Thursday about the location of a new elementary school in southwest Columbia, but a lot still needs to happen before a site is selected.

"We know that if we don't have something chosen, a site, by the middle or end of September, then we may not be able to get it open when we want to get it open," school board President Christine King said.

The school is scheduled to open in August 2016 and is being paid for by a bond issue approved by voters in April 2012.

Members of the district's Long-range Facilities Planning Committee were looking at three locations, known as the Linnemeyer, Potterfield and Sapp sites. The board made an offer on the Sapp site, but the Sapp family revoked the intent to sell it in July.

The Linnemeyer and Potterfield sites still are being considered, but the committee is also looking for new properties, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

"If someone has something they want us to consider, send it forward," Baumstark said.

"We'll get back at it and try to find another piece of property that fits for the district and for the community," King said.

The Linnemeyer property is a 30-acre site at Route K and High Point Lane. The Potterfield site covers 36 acres at Route K and Old Plank Road.

Once the location is decided, a redistricting process will take place to set new attendance areas for the southwestern elementary schools, including Mill Creek and Rock Bridge, which are overcrowded.

"So time is of the essence," King said. "That whole area is just bubbling, so we need to really provide some relief out there."

Tax levy goes up slightly

Also on Thursday, the seven-member board unanimously approved a 2.2 cent property tax levy increase, which will take effect Sept. 1.

The levy will increase to about $5.42 per $100 of assessed valuation. Last year, the levy was $5.4o per $100, according to district information. Residents with homes valued at $100,000 will pay an extra $3.74 per year.

Slight increases in the property tax levy happen every year about this time.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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