UPDATE: School Levy Passes in Pleasants County

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UPDATE 11/4/2013 10:50 AM

Pleasants County residents came out to the polls Saturday to vote on whether to renew the county's excess levy, which funds the day-to-day operations of the school system.

County residents have overwhelmingly supported the excess levy since the 1950's.

And by Saturday's final tally, they will continue to, at least for another five years.

The renewal of the levy passes with Saturday's simple majority of votes.

School officials say Saturday's vote will generate nearly $3.8 million per year for county schools.

"We've been very blessed and fortunate," says Superintendent Michael Wells. "Our community has always supported our schools and so as I said, our kids get the very best that we have to offer because we've been successful in passing these in the past."

Currently 44 of West Virginia's 55 counties have an excess levy in effect, including Tyler, Doddridge, Ritchie, Jackson, and Wood Counties.
St. Marys voters head to the polls next week to vote on a long time school levy.

It's a long time part of the district - something it banked on for years.

Voters who aren't doing so right now go to the polls Saturday to decide on continuing a nearly 60-year old excess levy.

It does not pay for the construction of the new high school or recent renovations to the Belmont School.

That's funded by a separately approved bond issue.

The excess levy for Pleasants County Schools was first approved in 1954 and got 70 percent of the vote in its most recent approval in 2008.

It pays for employees not covered through the state aid formula as well as everything from technology equipment to maintaining school property.

"You can run it up to 100%, but we're running it at 83%, which is no change from the last levy," says Superintendent Michael Wells. "It would begin July 1, 2014. It would be a five-year renewal, so it would run to 2019."

The excess levy rate remains unchanged, although Superintendent Wells says there is concern about changes in business and industry which also have changed Pleasants County's tax base.

And Wells isn't certain how that will be affected by the planned closing of Ormet right across the river, or by the recent increase in oil and gas drilling.

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