Fatima, PWSD see levy issues pass, voters approve county marijuana sales tax

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 4/12/23

OSAGE COUNTY   —   Proposition Fatima Schools was successful this time around, passing by a 725-574 margin to give the district a levy to construct a new building. Voter turnout was …

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Fatima, PWSD see levy issues pass, voters approve county marijuana sales tax


OSAGE COUNTY    Proposition Fatima Schools was successful this time around, passing by a 725-574 margin to give the district a levy to construct a new building. Voter turnout was 17.9%, according to County Clerk Nicci Kammerich, noting that results have not been certified.

“We are very excited about the levy passing,” said Superintendent Chuck Woody. “This is important to the future of our kids and our district. Our facilities were in desperate need of some upgrades, and we will now be able to take those needs on.”

With a 65-cent levy, Fatima anticipates generating about $11 million, and the project, as presented, would cost approximately $1.5 million more.

Now that voters have approved the levy, the district will have until October to get everything lined out. Woody noted the plan is to have bids by the November meeting, with construction to begin in December.

In terms of financing, Woody said that if the measure is approved, he would like to make a payment toward the project of some kind this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

In related ballot news, DJ Schroeder carried the vote with 801 and will be joined by Joyce Weber (768) and Wayne Baumhoer (629). Incumbent Andrew Samson garnered 616 votes, and Casey Helton received 575.

Osage County Public Water Supply District No. 3 (PWSD #3) also had support, with 128 voting in favor of issuing revenue bonds and 29 casting a nay ballot.

Passage of the measure makes the district eligible for a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for half that amount. The other half would then be eligible for a low-interest DNR loan. The current rate on such loans is 1.5%, a fraction of what commercial loans now cost.

District officials emphasize the work will be done. The county’s growth and the waterworks’ aging infrastructure demand it. The only question is the impact on district patrons in the coming years. PWSD has contracted Integrity to oversee the work.

Osage County Presiding Commissioner Darryl Griffin, also a PWSD board member, expressed satisfaction with the passage of the bond issue. He also thanked the Unterrified Democrat for the article published in the issue just before the election. “[The piece] explained the issue perfectly without directly campaigning for it,” he said.

The PWSD issue enjoyed a larger “yes” vote than any other Osage County candidate or issue voted on that day.

In other election news, Osage County and the city of Linn were granted authority to enact a marijuana sales tax, which would only be collected if a dispensary is opened in Osage County and/or Linn.

The county saw a margin of 1,280-478 in favor of the measure. “I hope we never collect any, but if we do, we may need the money to pay for things that can happen,” said Osage County Presiding Commissioner Darryl Griffin.

Among Linn voters, 56 said yes, and 20 said no to the same question.

Linn Mayor Dwight Massey said he appreciates the support of the community. “Without fail, the Linn community has supported every initiative we have placed on the ballot for consideration in the 19 years I’ve served as a member of the board,” he added.  “I am very grateful for that.”

• At Chamois, Michael Edwards narrowly defeated Jim Wright 23-21 in the race for mayor; Alderman Jeffrey Conner received 12 votes with five write-in ballots for the two-year position; 25 write-ins were cast for a one-year position.

• In the Chamois R-1 race, Rebecca Mehmert was the only candidate and received 54 votes, with 73 write-ins cast.

• Westphalia voters approved a measure to forego future elections for city officials if the number of candidates equals the number of open positions by a 56-23 count.

That comes in an election in which Mayor Tammy Massman (64), aldermen Stanley Heckman (74), Jake Plassmeyer (71), and Delbert Wieberg (64) were re-elected without opposition.

• At Linn, Christopher Jaegers claimed a 27-12 win over Chad Gray for a one-year seat in Ward 2. Bill Turner was re-elected in Ward 2 (one year) with 32 votes, and in Ward 1, Dustin Flamm received 28 votes for a two-year team. Neither was opposed.

• Osage County voters in the Maries County R-2 school district chose Ashley Marquart-Harris (102), Garret Bialczyk (89), and Amy K. Kiso (67), as Brent Stratman was fourth with 64 votes.

• Belle residents in Osage County chose Daryl White Jr. to serve as mayor in a 29-27 vote over Kayla Bray. In the race for city marshal, Jerry Coborn defeated Joe Turnbough 36-21 among Osage County voters in Belle.