PARKERSBURG -The Wood County School system's continuing excess is not new. It's been around - and approved - by citizens since 1945. So to has the worry for school officials during each vote.
The levy is never passed by a 100 percent of the vote," said Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law. "There are always individuals who vote no."
He noted a decade ago it was approved by a narrow vote.
"We have to always be aware it is a vote of the public."
School system officials said this year's proposed levy is almost identical to previous efforts, with one difference; money once used to transportation is being reallocated for technology grants.
The continuing levy election will be Nov. 23. Early voting begins Saturday.
Tax rates will not increase, but the levy, if approved by voters, will generate $16,769,716; that's an additional $472,537 for the school system. The additional funds would allocate $299,901 for salaries. Another $200,000 would be put toward school technology grants for infrastructure and equipment.
Proposed excess levy rates will be 36.72 cents (per $100 valuation) for Class II property and 73.44 cents for Class III and IV property.
Continuing excess levy funds are used for staff and employee benefits, maintenance/operations of buildings not covered by state aid formula, transportation; school supplies, West Virginia University Extension and libraries.
The proposed levy provides:
* $925,000 for reading resource teachers;
* $375,000 for school nurses;
* $1.7 million for continuing maintenance and buildings and equipment;
* $9,953,803 to maintain competitive salaries and benefits for teachers, service personnel and administrators;
* $447,913 for Parkersburg and Wood County Libraries and Vienna Library;
* $200,000 for technology grants;
* $800,000 salaries for coached and academic sponsors;
* $570,000 for supplement funding for substitute service and professional employees;
* $800,000 for a dental program for all employees;
* $225,000 for copier service and school materials;
* $275,000 for instructional materials for all students;
* $150,000 for Local School Improvement Council projects;
* $140,000 for library/media supplies, books, equipment, software and services;
* $150,000 for alternative school for troubled students;
* $50,000 for WVY Extension Service Program in the county; and
* $8,000 for Artsbridge and other art enrichment programs.
"We are hopeful it will pass because it does so many things for our school system and makes the educational experience special for kids in the area."
Law compares Wood County to Pocahontas County, where he previously served as superintendent. Pocahonatas County residents have never approved a levy, he said. The county, one of the largest in the state geographically, has one nurse who covers its five schools. Wood County has almost one nurse per school.
"In Wood, we have more nurses available for our schools than we every had in Pocahontas.
"I hope everyone understands the importance of the levy and what it does for our kids," he said.
Early voting begins Saturday, Nov. 9. Early voting will not be available on Sunday, or Monday (Nov. 11) due to the Veterans Day holiday.
Voting resumes Nov. 12-16 and Nov. 18-20 at the regular voting precinct in the Fort Boreman public meeting room of the Judge Black Courthouse Annex, 315 Market St., Parkersburg.
Early voting at the four community satellite voting precincts will be available on Nov. 15, 16, 18, 19 and 20. The four community vote sites will be at Williamstown City Building, 100 West Fifth St.; Vienna City Building, 609 29th St., Vienna; Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, 1695 Elizabeth Pike, Mineral Wells, and Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department, 1340 Harris Highway, Lubeck.
Saturday hours for early voting will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Voting at all early vote polling places Monday through Friday will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.