Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 7, 2014

McDowell voters asked to support excess levy

WELCH — Voters in McDowell County are being asked to renew an excess levy that provides funding for everything from textbooks for students to teacher salaries.

The levy has been in place since 1942, and is renewed every five years. It has historically been supported by the voters of McDowell County, according to county School Superintendent Nelson Spencer.

Early voting for the levy election is now underway. And the election will be held Saturday, Feb. 15. Voters will cast a ballot at normal polling precincts.

“It is really vital for us to have the excess levy to support the things we are doing,” Spencer said. “I would urge all voters to continue to support the levy. McDowell County voters have always been very supportive and the levy has [historically] passed by a large margin. The voters are to be commended for their support of the school system.”

If renewed by voters, the levy would provide continued financial support for the school system through the year 2018.

“Some of the highlights include free instructional supplies to students such as textbooks and technology and then another big piece is the safety and security,” Spencer said. “Another highlight would be the capital improvements. We use that money for capital improvements, and a big chunk of it would be to help pay the utilities — water, sewer electric — it all comes out of the excess levy.”

If approved by voters, Spencer said the levy would:

• Provide funding in the amount of $1,810,000 per year to maintain and improve all school facilities and grounds, provide a school resource officer at both Mount View and River View high schools and help to ensure the safety of students.

• Provide instructional materials, supplies, equipment, furniture, textbooks, technology equipment and software, and the maintenance of technology equipment in the amount of $1,000,000 per year.

• Continue the supplement of the state’s minimum salary of each professional in the amount of $300 per month and $250 per month for each service employee.

• Provide for other costs, including utilities and other public services for the school system in the amount of $1,400,000 per year.

• Provide for the operation of secondary and/or vocational extended year programs in the amount of $75,000 per year.

• Provide funding for construction/capital improvements, including new schools and technology infrastructure in the amount of $200,000 per year

• Assist the McDowell County Public Library in the amount of $35,000 per year and the War Public Library in the amount of $10,000 per year.

• Provide funding for the McDowell County WVU Extension Office for educational programs and 4-H activities in the amount of $32,200 per year.

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