93 percent of voters pass levy in McDowell County

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By Bill Archer 
Bluefield Daily Telegraph 

WELCH — In spite of all of the weather related challenges during the past several days, the McDowell County Board of Education Additional Levy passed Saturday on a 757-57 vote. McDowell County voters have approved the additional levy for 72 consecutive years. McDowell citizens voted to continue the levy until 2018.

It wasn’t an easy proposition this year due to the foot of snow that blanketed the region on Thursday, making travel difficult. Personnel in the McDowell County Clerk’s office reported that voters who traditionally used Iaeger Elementary School as a polling place had to use a church in Iaeger to vote in.

Poll workers received training on Friday, and according to personnel in the clerk’s office, all 37 county precincts opened at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and remained open until 7:30 p.m. The actual vote count wasn’t available until 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.

The additional levy has provided funding for things like books and teacher salaries since 1942. The levy provides $1.8 million to maintain and improve all school facilities, to provide a school resource officer at both Mount View and Riverview high schools and to ensure student safety.

The levy also provides $1 million per year to provide instructional materials, supplies, equipment, furniture, textbooks, technology equipment and software as well as provides an additional $300 per month to the state’s minimum for professional personnel as well as $250 per month for all service employees.

The levy also provides $1.4 million for other costs like utilities and public services; $75,000 for secondary or vocational extended year programs; $200,000 for capital improvement projects; $35,000 to support the McDowell County Public Library; $10,000 for the War Public Library; and provides $32,200 to fund educational programs through the West Virginia University Extension Office in McDowell County.