ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Two levies on the ballot were passed by a large margin during the voters' choice at the polls Tuesday night.
The St. Clairsville Elementary School will be seeing needed repairs and upgrades to the roof and doors with the voters' approval of a continuous 2.75-mill operating levy to replace the school district's expiring 2002 operating levy. Results from the 20 precincts showed a count of 1,947 to 826 opposed, or 70.21 percent to 29.79 percent.
Superintendent Walt Skaggs noted that the district has demonstrated a commitment to making the most responsible use of the tax dollars entrusted to them.
"On behalf of myself and the school board and the students and on behalf of St. Clairsville, we're ecstatic with the support we received from the community. We've been fiscally responsible. We've shown that over the years, and I think the turnout and the positive support is a credit to that, and we're going to continue to be fiscally responsible, make decisions and do what's best for the students of St. Clairsville."
He added that the district had reached out to community members and organizations.
"The feedback that we received was positive in support," he said. "We were hoping for the best and that turned out in our favor."
He thanked school employees and members of the community who worked to get the word out, as well as area volunteers who assisted in several recent projects.
Skaggs noted that the district has sent out bids for the elementary roof and will award them within the next two weeks. The construction will be completed before the beginning of school next year.
MEANWHILE, the Memorial Park and Allen Pool will also be open for regular business this year, with the passage of an additional 0.25 mill levy for five years for current expenses. Voters from 14 precincts turned out and cast 2,024 votes in favor to 649 opposed, or 75.72 percent to 24.28 percent.
Park Board Member Randy Bernard said the possibility that the park might close had meant a slight decrease in reservations this year, but noted the popularity of the park should mean considerable activity this summer.
"This was successful because of the community," he said, noting the city organizations, sports teams, parents, and others who worked to promote the issue. "It makes all the difference when you have the full community support."
He also spoke about the park's role in community life.
He added that the park board will continue to look at the finances for ways to make cuts and reduce costs whenever possible, as well as search for alternate funding sources. Meanwhile, they will continue to utilize capital improvement funds to continue upgrades.
"This levy was a lifesaver, but we need to plan for the future as well," he said.
DeFrank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org