ALTON -- "Friends of the Alton R-1V School", a citizens' committee formed to promote passage of the Qualified Zone Academy Bond issue, said recently they are nearing completion of their voter registration drive. More than 300 contacts have been made with what committee members said are many potential voters declaring their intent to register to vote.The bond issue commonly known as QZAB will be on the Aug. 6 primary election ballot for the Alton School District. This is a federally funded program which would allow the school to obtain a loan of $1 million interest free for a period of 14 years. No payments on the principal are required until the end of the 14 years. This means that the tax money collected can be deposited in an interest bearing account, and it is estimated the school district will earn about $180,000 interest on this money over the 14 years. This $180,000 will be applied toward the principal leaving $820,000 to be paid by Alton School District patrons tax money. This issue will require a 23--cent levy increase or an increase of $21.85 per year for a person or family that owns a $50,000 home. The tax on a $50,000 farm would increase by $13.80 per year. Committee members said senior citizens and disabled persons on fixed incomes for whom this increase might be a burden may qualify for a property tax refund through the Circuit Breaker provision. Senior residents interested in this program can learn more about it at the Alton Senior Citizen Center or by calling Alton Superintendent of Schools Sheila Wheeler.Committee members said this money can only be used for renovation, repair or maintenance on existing school buildings or facilities. If the bond issue is passed the money will be used for renovations including: ADA requirements; new roofs for all buildings; brick work on buildings; renovation and maintenance on outer buildings (auto mechanics/bus shed, vo-ag,. ITE, and band building); new heating and and air conditioning units; structural work on high school cafeteria walls; pave parking lot; lights and permanent bleachers at baseball field; and new lockers. All of the money will be used to make improvements to the facilities until the entire amount is spent.Friends of Alton R-IV School said they are excited about the benefits this measure can bring for their children, school and community. A drive to contact every voter in person or by telephone prior to the election has begun."Our goal is to provide complete and accurate information so voters can make an informed decision. As part of that effort committee representatives met with senior citizens and the Alton Senior Citizen Center. Public information meetings are also scheduled to be held at the Thomasville Community Center July 18, at the Rover Community Building July 29, and at the BB Road Community Center July 30," the committee member said.All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. Representatives of the committee and the school board as well as Superintendent Wheeler will be on hand to answer questions. Committee members said they urge all voters to attend one of these meetings to learn more about the issue, and then give careful consideration and vote Aug. 6.Wheeler said she would be glad to answer any questions regarding the issue. Her phone number at the school is 778-7216.