BLOOMINGDALE - Voters within the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School district will consider a 1-mill operating levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The levy would generate about $1 million annually for operations at the school, according to Dale Edwards, district superintendent.
"There are residents of our district in Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont and Carroll counties," said Edwards. "It's a seven-year levy.
"Previously, it was a 10-year levy, and voters informed us they would vote for it if it were for a shorter length of time," Edwards continued. "We were told by many voters if we reduced the number of years for the levy, they would vote for it."
Edwards also said there were misconceptions how much a homeowner would pay if the levy was approved. He added for a residence with an estimated value of $70,000, the levy would cost less than $25 a year. Edwards also said it's been 19 years since the last levy to provide additional funding for JVS operations was approved.
A fact sheet presented to the Herald-Star stated the JVS receives more than two-thirds of its operating funds from the state, with a smaller portion coming from the federal government.
Edwards has stated cutbacks at the school to stay within budget have included the elimination of programs, a reduction in the work force, the delay of repairs to facilities and equipment, limiting the purchase of supplies and materials and cutting back on purchase of lab equipment.
Edwards said there was no doubt the JVS needed additional local funding to stay current and make needed repairs.
"Our building has about 110,000 square feet," he said, adding the school was built in 1975. "The roof has been inspected by consultants. Even though we've been making repairs, the roof has exceeded its life expectancy."
Estimates for replacement of the roof average around $1.5 million, said Edwards, adding without levy approval the JVS wouldn't have the funds to replace the work. Other examples of how levy funds would be used include updating of equipment in student laboratories; the renovation of classrooms; the installation of new heating controls; upgrading security and fire alarm systems; and improvement of parking areas and sidewalks.
Edwards said the levy proposal was an inexpensive way for the community to help local students get he skills they need to find jobs in fields including car dealerships, hair salons, restaurants, health care facilities, law enforcement positions, the printing industry. computer networking, computer repair workers, secretaries, clerks, welders, electricians, carpenters and mechanics.
For information, call (740) 264-5545.