Enough patrons of two Phillips County public school districts got out in force Tuesday to support millage initiatives for their respective districts in the annual school elections.

Enough patrons of two Phillips County public school districts got out in force Tuesday to support millage initiatives for their respective districts in the annual school elections.

By a margin of 312 to 171, the Barton-Lexa District approved a 12.9 mill increase to fund a major renovation and construction project on the school's campus. Meanwhile, voters in the Marvell-Elaine School District gave the green light to retain their district's 8-mill service debt tax. That money also will be used to fund renovation projects within the district.

Marvell-Elaine voters approved keeping the 8 mills by a vote of 129-61.

There was only one contested school board race in Tuesday's elections. Rosetta Ross-Crawford easily defeated Evelyn Thomas by a 67-8 vote for the Zone 1 seat on the Barton-Lexa School Board.

Barton-Lexa's plans call for the financing of a $13.5 million construction-renovation project that will include replacing several existing facilities, some built as long ago as the 1930s, building a new high school, the remodeling of the existing gymnasium and much more.

The approval of the millage increases the district's current millage rate of 28.6 mills to 41.5. The district previously had the third lowest millage rate in the state and is currently ranked as the third poorest school district in Arkansas.

Marvell-Elaine Superintendent Joyce Cottoms reported earlier that the retention of the 8-mill service tax would be used for renovations to the high school gymnasium and the front office area of the high school.

“It will also help with the purchase of new buses and the reconstruction of the track at the football field,” she said.

Following the election, the district's millage remains at 33 mills.

County Clerk Office officials advised that the election results are “unofficial.”