MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The early voting period for the Special Monongalia County School Excess Levy election has closed and voters will travel to the polls Saturday for the final voice from the public. Polling places will be open Saturday from 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Clerk in Monongalia County, Carye Blaney said, 2,059 people voted during the early voting period from September 10 through September 22. Blaney tells WAJR News the results of those ballots will be released after polls close Saturday.
Members of the Mon County Schools Excess Levy Committee, Mark Nesselroad and Ashley Martucci came to Talk of the Town Thursday to explain the benefits and thank voters for their past support.
The levy provides about $30 million annually to the 21 schools and more than 11,000 students in the district.
“It supports facilities improvements, things that make our schools more secure, renovations to playgrounds, extra-curricular activities, art & music, councilors and psychologists. honors courses and technology,” Nesselroad said.
Every year, levy funds are used for building maintenance, security and equals about 25-percent of the total school district budget.
“We have had an excess levy in Monongalia County since 1973, so 48 years,” Martucci said,” This levy will start in 2022 and end in 2027 and there will be no increase in property tax.”
Monongalia County Schools are one of the top districts in the state and are many times the first thing people look at when considering a move to a community. Additionally, local businesses look to competitive schools to provide a pipeline of people to support the local economy in entry level positions and prepare them for post secondary education.
“It attracts employers and employees, it attracts business and recreation,” Nesselroad said,” It’s important to our quality of life in Monongalia County.”
Both committee members have children in Monongalia County Schools and believe the levy funding is key in maintaining the quality of education parents, families and the community has grown to expect.
“I’m grateful for the impact of the excess levy and what it has done for the children in our community,” Martucci said.
According to Nesselroad, the levy funding allows local schools to meet the needs of families without navigating state government or waiting on the General Assembly cycle to accomplish important items that enhance growth and quality.
“Without it our schools might look like our roads,” Nesselroad said,” We rely on the state for funding and they support 73-percent of the budget, but that extra 23-percent is local-based and really what sets our county apart.”