MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Voters go to the polls Saturday in Monongalia County to vote for or against the county’s school excess levy.
Monongalia County has had additional funding for its school system through an excess levy since 1973. If approved, the renewed levy will generate about $30 million in annual tax revenue.
“It supports facilities improvements, things that make our schools more secure, renovations to playgrounds, extra-curricular activities, art and music, counselors and psychologists. honors courses and technology,” Excess Levy Committee member Mark Nesselroad said Thursday on WAJR’s ‘Talk of the Town.’
The levy makes up about 25% of the school system’s overall budget. The five-year renewal would begin next year and last through 2027. It will not increase current taxes.
Nesselroad said the Monongalia County school system is 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 Nesselroad and fellow committee member Ashley Martucci have children in the system 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 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.”
The 10-day early voting period wrapped up Wednesday. Monongalia County Clerk Carye Blaney said 2,059 people cast ballots.
Polls will be open Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.