Wetzel County voters will vote on the school excess levy renewal Friday.
Wetzel County Superintendent of Schools Diane Watt pointed out to at a previous Wetzel County Commission meeting that the only change in the levy is in the income numbers; the rates remain the same: Class I property is 22.95 cents per $100 worth of valuation; for Class II property, 45.9 cents; and for Class III and Class IV properties, 91.8 cents. Estimated annual revenues, less allowances for exonerations, discounts, and delinquent taxes total $5,683,928.
Furthermore, the increased income will keep up with the technology needs of schools. Item "b" on the list of items for the levy to fund will improve "access to technology through the purchase of hardware, software, infrastructure, repair, and training, approximately $300,000 annually." This is $100,000 difference from the 2007 levy.
Don Riggenbach, president of the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, with grandson Kelsyn Riggenbach, a kindergarten student at New Martinsville School, share with Diane Watt, Superintendent of Wetzel County Schools, that the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors supports the excess levy up for renewal in Friday’s election.
Watt had told commissioners that she believes Wetzel County takes really good care of the buildings, but there is a "substantial amount of work needed on the sports complexes," due to the number of people, including non-students, who use those areas. Item "c" of the levy provides for "capital improvement, renovations and repair, maintenance of the facilities, and payment of utilities, approximately $2,000 annually." This is a minor difference from the 2007 levy, which was $1,701.26.
A new item on the levy is item "h." This item provides "funds to modernize the school bus fleet, assisting in the purchase of one additional school bus per year, approximately $100,000."
Also noteworthy was item "g" on the levy, which will provide $4,000 to each public library in Wetzel County. This is a difference from the $1,500 which was specified to each library on the 2007 levy.
The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously at their Nov. 28 meeting to support the levy. The members felt that advocating for the county school system was vital. They further noted that this is a renewal of a levy that has been supported by Wetzel County citizens since the 1950s. There is no increase in a citizen's current taxes.
The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday. A list of polling places can be found in this week's paper on page 9B while a sample ballot is on page 8B.