Sulphur football stadium proposition will reappear on ballot

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Only 1,222 of Bonding District 30’s more than 21,000 registered voters showed up to cast votes April 6 — a turnout that one

School Board member blames for the defeat of a proposition on the ballot.

“My experience over the years is that when something is on the ballot and someone is opposing it, they’re more motivated to

go to the polls than voters who are in support of something, and I think that’s how it got defeated,” said Joe Andrepont.

“A number of people have stopped me and apologized for not voting.”

The proposition, which was for a $5.2 million bond issue to demolish Matt Walker Memorial Stadium in Sulphur and build a new

stadium, failed by two votes — 610 for to 612 against.

Andrepont, School Board member for District 12 and Bonding District 30, said there is “certainly a need for a new stadium.”

He said the existing stadium, which is 70-80 years old, has seen renovations over the decades but still features “structural

steel that exists from the 1940s,” along with eroded concrete footings and wood decking.

Also, Andrepont said, the press box sways when the wind blows; the sound system is “horrible”; the restrooms and concession

stands are “atrocious and in deplorable condition”; and the aisles need handrails.

The bond would have been funded by a 20-year, 1.22-mill property tax.

“We hear about millages, but no one talks about dollars. And I think people can equate to that better in terms of what it

would cost voters if we talked in dollars,” Andrepont said.

“A home appraised at $75,000 wouldn’t pay any taxes on this proposition; a $150,000 homeowner would pay $8 a year in new taxes,

or $0.67 a month; and a $300,000 home would be $16 per year, or $1.33 per month. It’s not a big difference.”

The issue will appear on the ballot again, but the School Board has not made a decision as to when, he said.

“It won’t be put back to a vote soon, but when we do call another bond election we, as a board, will do a better job of getting

the message out about the election to make sure people cast their votes,” Andrepont said.

“I think by doing that we can hopefully motivate people to go to the polls and show their support.”