JVS needs your support

To the editor:

The Jefferson County Joint Vocational School has a 1-mill levy on Tuesday’s ballot. Asking the taxpayers of Jefferson County to pay more during these difficult times deserves some explanation. The vocational school serves students from Steubenville, Indian Creek, Catholic Central, Toronto, Buckeye, Edison and Harrison Central.

The question always comes up, “Why should I pay for a school I don’t have a student in?” Some of our students go on to college either to continue their training or to use the training they have to support themselves during college. Some of our students will be working on your car, styling your hair, building or remodeling your house or taking care of you in the hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office. Some of our students will be cooking for you or serving you and some of our students will be driving forces in welding for the gas and oil companies. Chances are, you already know JVS students and chances are they have already done work for you. We need to have the most updated equipment in order for our students to be productive taxpayers.

One of our biggest worries at the JVS is the condition of our roof. Again, the question comes up, “Why can’t the students fix the roof?” The carpentry students have built six houses in our subdivision at the school and put on six residential roofs and do a great job. The problem with the school roof is that it is 110,000 square feet of industrial foam flat roof that leaks regularly due to the life expectancy of the roof being exceeded. There are new processes out there we need to look into to replace the foam flat roof, but all of these processes are too specialized for our students.

The staff at the JVS voted years ago not to get a raise, made concessions in health care coverage, supported the closing of programs and took on more work to try and stay within our means. We have lost close to $500,000 between the loss of the business tax and TPP and electric deregulation tax revenue and we just cannot sustain that type of loss any longer.

Issue 8 is an additional levy for seven years. It will cost the average taxpayer with a home valued at $75,000 (the average in Jefferson County) $23 a year, and if you are 65 or older, less than $15 a year – for less than about a half of tank of gas you can help us give you better trained workers. Please support Issue 8.

Karen Spoonemore

Jefferson County JVS staff