Callaway County voters approved propositions 1 and 2 in Tuesday's special election.
Tuesday night's uncertified results show Proposition 1 passed with 71.77 percent voting "yes" and 28.23 percent voting "no." Proposition 2 passed at a narrower margin of 60.65 percent voting "yes" and 39.35 percent voting "no."
"I'm pleased with the results. I thought we did a pretty good job trying to educate the general public and get it out there the best we could. We're going to do our due diligence to have our voters pleased with the outcome," presiding Callaway County commissioner Gary Jungermann said.
Proposition 1 states, "Shall the County of Callaway, Missouri, impose a countywide sales tax at the rate of one-half of one percent for the purpose of providing law enforcement services for the county, including, but not limited to, increasing the number of deputy sheriffs on patrol, investigators, corrections officers, assistant prosecutors and support staff, equipping those positions and enhancing compensation packages to improve competitive hiring and retention, and supplementing the cost of construction, renovation and operation of law enforcement facilities."
Proposition 2 states, "Shall the County of Callaway, Missouri, impose a countywide sales tax at the rate of one-half of one percent for a period of 21 years from the date on which such tax is first imposed for the purpose of paying for the construction of a new Justice Center, expansion of the Callaway County Law Enforcement Center and transition of the existing courthouse for use as a County Government Center.
"If approved, this sales tax will expire on April 30, 2041, or at the time final payment occurs on the project financing, whichever comes first. Collections for this Proposition are not to begin until the one-half of one percent sales tax of Proposition 1 is also approved."
"I'm most proud that the Callaway County voters had confidence in us and agreed with our assessment of the county's overall criminal justice needs," Callaway County sheriff Clay Chism said.
Despite being pleased with the propositions passing, Jungermann said he was disappointed with the voter turnout Tuesday. The uncertified results showed a 15.26 percent voter turnout of the 28,309 registered voters in Callaway County.
"It's not a real good number when you look at about 24,000 people deciding not to vote today. That's kind of disheartening," Jungermann said.
At the polls, many Fulton voters voiced their support of both of the propositions.
"I voted 'yes' on (propositions 1 and 2)," Fulton resident Sarah Johnston said. "I worked in the judicial system for almost 25 years and in the circuit clerk's office for almost 17 years. I know the importance of keeping the offices of law enforcement up-to-date as well as the courthouse. I think it'd be great to have a judicial center. I worked as the circuit clerk for six years so I would've thought it would have been great to have it back then."
"I supported both of the propositions. It was a hard decision," Fulton resident Shawn Hull said. "I know county government is chronically underfunded, and you ultimately get what you pay for in terms of government services."
Chism said he was "cautiously optimistic" going into Tuesday's election after hearing a variety of voices and opinions throughout the county.
Jungermann said while the Callaway County Commission will have some breathing time following the results, they have a lot of work on the horizon. He hopes the county can move forward with the results sometime in early 2020.
"I think it's a win-win for all of us and we've got a lot of work coming ahead," Jungermann said.