JVS discusses levy renewal

BLOOMINGDALE – The Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Board on Tuesday voted to put a 10-year, 0.5-mill operating levy before voters during the May primary.

Todd Phillipson, JVS superintendent, said the proposal was a renewal previously approved by voters and wasn’t associated with the 1-mill levy approved by district voters in the November election.

“We’re proposing putting the 0.5-mill levy renewal (before district voters) on May 6,” said Phillipson, who noted the renewal levy has been approved by district voters before. “This is just a renewal of of funds we’ve already been receiving from voters. It’s funds the voters have supported in the past.”

Phillipson said the levy typically raises about $600,000 annually for operations at the school. He added he’s aware this levy renewal comes on the heels of voters approving the 1-mill operating levy in November, but the school needs the approval of both to stay up to date with equipment, maintenance of building and grounds, current operating expenses, furnishings, repairs, lab renovation and vocational training.

“We’d been operating with some difficulty when the voters were kind enough to support the (1-mill) levy,” said Phillipson, who stressed the upcoming levy is just a renewal. “(The funds generated) are for our students so we can prepare them for the work force. We feel we’ve been prudent with our funds. We will use these funds to serve the students.”

In other matters:

– The school received a $32,486 grant from the Universal Service Administrative Co. to be used for technology services, said Phillipson. The grant proposal was written by Cecilia Abdalla, supervisor and assistant principal.

– The board voted to recognize February as Black History Month.

– Chauntel Freeman donated a 2003 Honda Accord for use in the automotive lab.

“We very much want to thank her for her donation,” said Phillipson, adding the board also expressed its appreciation.

The school will be closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the school.