HAMBLETON – The Tucker County Board of Education is running a levy call for $501,698 annually to generate funds for the school system, and last Monday, Tucker County BOE members, county administrators and Tucker County Superintendent Dr. Eddie Campbell met with concerned county residents to form a committee dedicated to assisting with the passage of the levy.
“We are looking for ideas to educate the public about the proposed levy,” Janet Preston, BOE president said. “How do we find out information the public needs to decide to vote for the proposed levy?”
Attendees said they thought the public wanted more accountability.
“They did not think there would be anyone would be held to the proposed numbers in the levy – I think a greater public awareness of the fiduciary responsibilities that we will have in place would put some fears to rest,” one individual said. Another asked how folks would know how they would know where the money was really spent.
Others attending the meeting suggested that information be made available to the public in letters to the editor, articles and columns in local papers. Advertisements, signs and posters were other suggestions folks made to aid in the education of others about the benefit of the proposed levy.
“We ran a levy this past spring, and unfortunately, came up two votes shy of our goal, which is quite a shame,” Campbell said. “But our board of education discussed it significantly and came to the conclusion that we need the money. I think the board is committed to make the attempt until we are successful.”
Campbell said the board thought a committee of community leaders, composed of folks including teachers, business leaders, and public servants, to assist the board in this attempt trying to raise support to get the levy through this time.
“We also hope to get some input to help get this thing through this time,” Campbell said. “We want to promote the levy more positively. We want your ideas to help promote this on the ballot this November.”
Campbell said following the primary election, folks came up to him and said they were sick that the levy did not pass, telling him they forgot to go out and vote.
“We think this election will bring more people out who are in favor of the levy,” Campbell said. “We appreciate your help.”
The levy remains unchanged from the primary election, and the terms include $2,508,490 which is $501,698 annually. It would cover costs for construction, repairs and maintenance including roof replacement, HVAC services and matching funds for leveraging monies from the School Building Authority. Budget for this is $240,000.
Operational expenses including in the levy include utility rate increases, copy machines and custodial equipment supplies with an approximate annual amount of $55,000. Also in the proposed levy are curricular, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities for field trips and school competitions for $46,698. Technology expenses included in the levy for computer repairs, upgrades and software total $25,000 while an estimated $40,000 would be spent for textbooks, supplies and equipment.
The levy also has an allotment for $20,000 for athletic passes for all county middle and high school student athletic events and school-related home events supplemental support for the Tucker County libraries and 4-H in the amount of $25,000 and transportation costs for replacement and maintenance of vehicles in the amount of $50.000.
The next levy committee meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Sept.8 at Tucker County High School, and everyone is encouraged to attend.