If you don't succeed, try, try again. That's exactly what the newly reinstated Helena-West Helena School Board did regarding a proposed millage increase to fund a proposed major renovation and construction project on the district's Central High School campus.

If you don't succeed, try, try again. That's exactly what the newly reinstated Helena-West Helena School Board did regarding a proposed millage increase to fund a proposed major renovation and construction project on the district's Central High School campus.

Recently removed from state control, school patrons were able to elect a school board for the first time in several years. The board's first order of business was to get the high school facilities back up to acceptable standards. And thus began a campaign to construct a new high school and renovate several other existing classrooms and buildings.

It was a tough sale. The measure fell by 106 votes.

Less than four months later, the board shopped the proposed 9.75 mill increase again and this time the public bought into the plan. The district's current millage rate stands at 34.1 mills.

On Tuesday, voters went to the polls in a special election to determine the fate of the millage hike request. It passed by a slim 79 votes.

The final tally was 1,135 votes were cast in favor of the millage while 1,056 voted against it. The proposed measure wound up garnering just under 52 percent of the votes cast with just over 48 percent opposing it.

"I just want to thank the people of the community for their support of our kids our staff and our district," commented Helena-West Helena School Board President Andrew Bagley after the final votes were tallied. "I look forward to seeing the progress we make as a district and as a community moving forward."

The proposed millage met stiff opposition from a heated campaign that appeared to divide the community as opinions were openly and explicitly expressed through the social media.

Most of those opposing the millage were property owners who feel they are ere going to carry the full burden of the tax.

Upon receiving word of the millage passing, one opponent said, "Oh no, just what we need is another tax."

The next phase for the school board will be the process of advertising for bids for the construction of the proposed project. At this point it is too early to determine when the groundbreaking and work will get underway.

At press time, Bagley reported that he was not sure when actual collection of the tax will begin.