The Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to adopt a resolution expressing support of a 7.6-mill increase that will be up for a public vote Feb. 9.

Vital improvements will be made to the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District facilities, if a 7.6-mill is approved by voters on Feb. 9. This will allow for a new elementary school and a new high school to be constructed, along with improvements to other schools throughout the district.

“Patrons of North Pulaski and Jacksonville overwhelmingly supported the creation of our new district and they will be called upon once again to finish that job on Feb. 9 with a millage vote to fund projects that will equip our children and teachers with what they’ll need to perform at even higher levels than the surrounding districts,” Mayor Gary Fletcher said.

Fletcher is confident the residents want more and understand that no matter the cost, this is truly an investment in every aspect of the community. “We are preparing our children to be able to compete at a higher level that has not been available to them in many decades,” Fletcher said.

He believes that Jacksonville did not sell the idea of a “world-class education system” only to go with plan B. “We won’t settle. Our counterparts have not settled, why would we cut short our children’s potential and opportunities?”

The city council agreed that quality schools will move the community forward by attracting new business and industry as education is a primary issue. “The citizens are helping to send a message to the business community that Jacksonville is on the move and worth a second look,” Fletcher said.

This education investment includes increased property values, economic development and job opportunities. He also reminds residents that for every dollar they pay for the facilities, another dollar comes to Jacksonville from the state in a match to help with construction.  “This partnership is something we have never experienced before that will help grow and build schools we have so admired in surrounding communities.”

Education Corps spokesperson Laura Walker said she was pleased to hear of the city council’s resolution. “We all should be happy to live in a city that is so committed to investing in education. Investing in education is a primary development tool of any city and a win-win for everyone.”