No decisions were made regarding the proposed excess levy for the Barbour County Board of Education during this week's special meeting, which was designed to allow members of the public to express their concerns.
Board of Education officials said a decision will have to be made by Monday, which is the next regularly scheduled board meeting, in order to have the levy on the ballot in November.
The Board of Education will host another work session at 6 p.m. Monday to allow members of the public to comment at that board meeting, prior to making its decision.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. F. Joseph Super said the three major elements the levy addresses are staffing issues, technology concerns and maintenance.
"Businesses will look at the strength of the school systems to relocate here ... we have to have a strong school system," Super said.
The levy could help raise money for instructional equipment, teaching supplies and possible assistance with student immunization and health care needs, based on the financial need of the family.
There may be a line item in the levy in regard to capital improvements at the Philip Barbour High School athletic facility. The levy, if the line item is included, will support only one of four phases of capital improvements to the entire athletic facility project.
Phase I includes the installation of visitors' bleachers, new lighting and turf for the football field, a retaining wall near the home bleachers, an eight-lane running track around the field and modifications to the parking area and the practice soccer field.
The Board of Education can run the levy for a minimum of five years. Super said the tax increase to individuals would be less than the cost of breakfast and lunch for students, even with separate line items.
"I think that's a great selling point for families who have school-aged children and who are buying their lunches," board member Joanne McConnell said.
Another possible line item on the levy would benefit a summer reading program for students at public libraries.
"This becomes an opportunity for us to save the library," board President Bob Wilkins said.
Jody Larry, director of the Philippi Public Library, said the public libraries of Barbour County are going to need the support of the community.
"The education of our kids go hand-in-hand (with the libraries)," Larry said.
In order to be considered a public library, the Belington and Philippi libraries must meet the West Virginia Public Library Commission requirements. Larry and Tammy Smith, the director of the Belington Public Library, said public libraries are required to match 50 percent of their total grant and aid with tax-based contributions.
Another line item involves dental and optical benefits for employees.
Super said Barbour County has to compete with surrounding counties and needs something to offer employees to "keep them here, to give them a reason to stay."
In other board business, three positions had to be amended from the superintendent's personnel recommendations because they had not been filled.
The positions include one RESA-trained substitute teacher, a volunteer assistant cheerleading coach for Belington Middle School and an instructor to work with autistic and the profoundly impaired students at Belington Middle School.
Vice President Eric Ruf made the motion to employ Teresa Buskirk, Amanda Kelly, Karen Boone and Samantha Rexrode as substitute teachers; Rita Kennedy, Doreen Dunlap and Jeffrey Frey as RESA-trained substitute teachers; Jessica Currence as a long-term substitute special needs teacher at Junior Elementary School; Terry Baughman as an assistant baseball coach at Philip Barbour High School; and Nathaniel Baker as an English teacher at Belington Middle School.