MOUNDSVILLE - Marshall County Schools officials hope local taxpayers will provide them more than $82 million during the next five years by approving a renewal operating levy during the Dec. 15 special election.
Along with those in Marshall County, voters in Wetzel and Tyler counties will also decide whether to approve renewal operating levies during special elections, set for Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, respectively.
Just when voters believed the 2012 elections were finished, residents in each of these counties will get to voice their opinions on whether the school districts should continue receiving money from the operating levies.
Photo by Alex Kozlowski
Magnolia High School football coach Mark Batton yells from the sidelines during a Class A semifinal game Saturday that Wahama High School, won 10-7. A $28.4 million renewal levy in Wetzel County includes plans to spend $260,000 for extra duty positions, including athletic coaches.
School officials said these funds pay for building renovations, employee benefits, band equipment, 4-H programs and more.
"I don't even want to think about having to cut that much out of our budget," said Wayne Simms, assistant superintendent of Marshall County Schools.
"We passed our first operating levy in 1959 - and have passed everyone since."
Simms, as well as officials with Wetzel and Tyler counties, said they generally place the levies on the ballot for renewal in special elections, rather than have the issues before voters during that year's general election.
Simms said it usually costs about $80,000 to hold the special election.
"We have always placed it on the ballot as a special election. When there are issues on the ballot during a general election, they usually fail," said Tyler County Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante.
"We want the voters to have a single focus when they vote on this," Simms added.
If passed by a majority, the Marshall County levy will provide $16.43 million to the school district every year for five years, which will total $82.16 million during the period. The levy will charge 22.95 cents per $100 of value for Class I properties; 45.9 cents per $100 in value for Class II properties; and 91.8 cents per $100 in value for Class III and IV properties.
A breakdown of annual spending plans for the levy money in Marshall County calls for using:
- $11 million for salary supplements and substitute costs;
- $300,000 for academic intervention specialists and academic coaches;
- $170,000 for curricular positions;
- $400,000 for athletic coaches and positions;
- $100,000 for summer maintenance;
- $650,000 for employee dental and optical care;
- $1.3 million (for a total of $6.5 million during the five years) for renovations at John Marshall High School;
- $550,000 for equipment, supplies and books;
- $400,000 for technology upgrades;
- $400,000 for special education services;
- $400,000 for general building maintenance;
- $100,000 for vehicle maintenance and fuel;
- $95,000 for library services;
- $60,000 for health services;
- $70,000 for 4-H programs and West Virginia University Extension programs;
- $200,000 to provide free breakfast to all students;
- $100,000 for vocational supplies and equipment;
- $57,700 for classroom furniture;
- $50,000 for band equipment; and
- $30,000 for professional training.
"We really hope the voters continue to support us the way they always have," Simms added.
For the school district that includes Magnolia, Valley, Hundred and Paden City high schools, the levy would generate about $5.68 million annually for a total of about $28.4 million during the five-year period.
The levy will charge 22.95 cents per $100 of value for Class I properties; 45.9 cents per $100 in value for Class II properties; and 91.8 cents per $100 in value for Class III and IV properties.
Annual Wetzel County spending plans include:
- $2 million for capital improvements and facility upgrades;
- $1.57 million for salary supplements and substitute costs;
- $700,000 for additional salary supplements;
- $260,000 for extra duty positions, including athletic coaches;
- $250,000 to provide employee dental and optical care;
- $100,000 for unfunded mandated positions;
- $300,000 for technology upgrades;
- $200,000 for equipment, supplies and books;
- $65,000 for academic and athletic trips;
- $20,000 for duplicating equipment;
- $100,000 for special services;
- $100,000 for new school buses; and
- $16,000 for library services.
Daquilante did not have a full breakdown of the levy available, but emphasized that it is simply a renewal levy. She said it would generate about $2 million per year for five years, totaling about $10 million.
"It will go for supplies, employee benefits, transportation, library services, student organizations, coaching, and other operational expenses," she said.