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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Levy passes

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  • Newton County voters passed the Crowder Industries Workshop Levy on Tuesday, with a margin of 1,711 "yes" votes to 1,211 "no" votes.
    The levy is to support service for developmentally disabled Newton County residents, such as those employed at Crowder Industries/Workshop. The levy is 6-cents per $100 of assessed property. For a homeowner with a house that has an appraised value of $100,000, the annual cost would be $11.40 or 22-cents per week.
    After the levy passed, Mike Franks, a volunteer with the Crowder Industries Workshop Levy, talked to the Neosho Daily News.
    "(It is) congratulations and very happy day for 130 people (who are employed at Crowder Industries Workshop) who deserve all of our help and never asked any," said Franks. "Today, we gave them what they needed."
    Crowder Industries was established in 1969 as authorized by Missouri Senate Bill 52. It is one of 88 Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops. Today, Crowder Workshop remains a vital supplier to local industries including La-Z-Boy Midwest, Jarden, Premier Turbines, Marco Group and Nutra Blend.
    According to Franks in a previous interview with the Neosho Daily News, "For more than 44 years, the Crowder Workshop has served the needs of the developmentally disabled without any local tax assistance. This is a rare success, as only three of Missouri's 88 workshops operate without local county assistance."
    After Tuesday's announcement, Franks said, "as we know, the Newton County Commission will establish a SB40 committee and they will pick several people to serve on that. That committee will actually distribute the money. Obviously as this was called 'Crowder Workshop Levy,' we are hopeful that the bulk of that money will go to support the Crowder Workshop and its ability to help the extended employment of our disabled friends."
    Franks stated they were very appreciative of the passing of the levy.
    "But even with this levy, the Crowder Workshop will still make about 75 percent of its own revenue itself through its contract services," he said. "As I said, we are not broke, we didn't need a bailout, we just needed a little help and our good friends and neighbors in Newton County saw that, saw what a deserving group of people were and today they voted to give that help. We are very grateful and appreciative."
    It will be a while before the Newton County residents will see it on their taxes.
    "That money is still a year and a half away, it is not on this year's taxes, it will be down the road at that point, because taxes kind of run a year behind, any levy that is passed at this point," Franks said. "But obviously we will see that in 2015 and until then, we will watch our money really close and still keep everybody employed."

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