CPSB bond election coming up Saturday for areas of Lake Charles and Westlake

CPSB bond election coming up Saturday for areas of Lake Charles and Westlake
(Source: CPSB)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Improvements to schools around Lake Charles and Westlake are in the hands of voters come Saturday.

The question is, are taxpayers willing to pay more to upgrade public schools?

Most school board members are for the bond election in their district, but there are some against it including those from the community who just don't want to pay more in property taxes for 20 years.

A bond election is coming up that if voted yes for, could provide capital improvements and renovations to schools in Calcasieu Parish.

Those who live in North, Southeast and Southwest Lake Charles, and Westlake will have that opportunity to vote on a 20-year bond in their district that would increase homeowner's property taxes.

School board member Eric Tarver, who is for the bonds, represents the Southeast and Southwest areas of Lake Charles. He says so far he's heard mixed reviews.

"If people really take the time to educate themselves on what we're trying to do and where the money is coming from, and what makes sense, and what doesn't they generally do understand and people come around and they understand hey it's important," said Tarver.

But there are some in the area that just aren't in favor of the bonds.

Someone posted a billboard down Ryan Street telling drivers to vote no to the bond propositions.

7News also posed the question on our Facebook page.

Most of the comments posted were people saying no because they didn't want to increase their property taxes. Some also felt the school board had the funds to pay for the renovations, but money isn't being managed properly.

Tarver says the school board is using other funding sources, but it's just not enough to pay for everything.

"We primarily pay our operations out of sales taxes, and we pay for our buildings out of property taxes and that works because your building needs tend to be longer term needs that fit better with property taxes," said Tarver.

Another school board member for the bonds in his district is Fred Hardy. Representing North Lake Charles, he believes the improvements will help get multifunctional use out of certain facilities.

"A slight example, at Washington Marion we have a gymnasium," said Hardy. "We're going to make that a gymnatorium where they can have speech, drama, play regular basketball."

But back in September 7News spoke with Glenda Gay who also represents North Lake Charles and her stance on voting no for the bonds in her district hasn't changed

"I don't think these numbers warrant us passing a $46 million bond currently," said Gay.

If residents vote no in North Lake Charles, Hardy says he'll continue to push the bonds again, but as for for Tarver and his district, if residents vote no, he says this would be it.

"If that's not what they want then a no vote is going to get them just more pods, and more crowding and I hope that doesn't happen," he said. "It's not the best for the kids."

Southwest Lake Charles (District 34) is also the only district that has two propositions residents in that area can vote for. Tarver says residents can vote for either one, both or neither.

He also encourages people to reach out to any school board member in their district for more questions.

For information on District 23, click HERE and HERE.

For information on District 31, click HERE and HERE.

For information on District 33, click HERE and HERE.

For information on District 34, click HERE and HERE.

To view the bond election story posted back in September, click HERE.

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