Voters in Barbour County will see a bond and excess levy call on the November ballot.
The Board of Education in Barbour County voted this week to run a levy to raise funding for various academic and maintenance purposes, as well as to sell a 10-year bond to fund capital improvements to the athletic facilities.
Many audience members pledged their support of the bond and levy during Monday's regular board meeting.
"Our goal is to get this passed," said Frank Caputo, staff representative of the American Federation of Teachers.
Schools Superintendent Dr. F. Joseph Super said people can get fired up to help pass the levy, and a number of people in the audience pledged to do just that - with many supporters offering to help with signs.
The motion to approve the excess levy at 63 percent was made by board member Joanne McConnell and seconded by board member Dana Stemple. The motion carried unopposed.
The money raised by the levy will support expenditures for five fiscal years beginning July 2013. In total, the levy will raise $2,191,456 for a variety of academic purposes addressing staffing issues, technology concerns and maintenance, if approved by voters.
The levy would support school bands, choral activities, arts/cultural and extracurricular activities, academic instructional support services for tutoring and attendance in the amount of $102,000 for the five-year course of the levy.
Also, the levy would support services from the West Virginia University Extension Office and 4-H programs in the county with $20,000. It would put $5,000 toward immunization and health care needs of school-age children and $10,000 toward the county public library system.
Students eligible for state child nutrition programs such as free universal breakfast and/or community eligibility opportunity will be provided free meals thanks to the levy raising $295,456 if passed in November.
Among the supporters in the audience Monday were library directors Jody Larry, of Philippi, and Tamela Smith, of Belington.
"We are part of the educational progress here in this county," Larry said.
The Belington and Philippi public libraries supplement education through programs like Dolly Parton Imagination Library, early literacy programs, summer reading programs, special theme weeks and many others.
The levy would put $150,000 for purchasing instructional equipment, teaching supplies, library books, school furniture, and copying and operating expenses, while it would put $275,000 toward technology equipment, computers, materials, textbooks, supplemental materials, digital resources and contractual services to implement and renovate classrooms and laboratories, including computer updates and instructional programs for 21st century learning.
The West Virginia Department of Education requires staff reimbursement for instructional training. The levy will raise $35,000 toward that reimbursement.
For employee recruitment and retention, $338,925 would be raised by the levy for providing dental and optical plans and some medical expense reimbursement.
The levy will provide $360,000 for general repair and maintenance of school facilities, equipment, renovations, school safety, energy management and elimination of fire and health hazards in county schools.
Board member Doward Matlick made the motion to approve the 10-year tax levy proposed bond for capital improvements to the Philip Barbour High School athletic facilities. The motion was seconded by board member Eric Ruf and carried unopposed.
The bond will only fund Phase I of the four-phase project. Phase I will include 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.
Contact Melissa Toothman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.