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JVS begins levy campaign

Collins Career Center leaders will run a permanent improvement renewal levy for the vocational school this fall to fund continued improvement at the Getaway school.

Friday, October 08, 1999

Collins Career Center leaders will run a permanent improvement renewal levy for the vocational school this fall to fund continued improvement at the Getaway school.

"What we’re seeking is a five-year renewal of what we already have – a 1/2-mill (property tax) levy," said Lou Peake, the center’s director of school-community relations.

"None of the money generated goes to salary," Peake said. "It will make improvements to the physical plant, nothing outside of that."

The school has relied upon the same levy in years past, it’s just due for another voter approval, he said.

"Our slogan is, ‘It’s not new, just renew.’"

With the levy money, the school funds renovations, buys equipment and furnishes classroom materials, Peake said.

An update of the cosmetology program section of the building and an upgrade to the electronics classrooms have been funded in the past, he said.

Collins serves all seven high schools’ student bodies and the parochial school’s, giving space to about 450 secondary school students and about 500 adult students.

"We’re open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week, so we have heavy usage on the facility and equipment and we’re asking voters to continue to support us," Peake said.

"Our school has been here 23 years and the taxpayers of Lawrence County have charged us with the fiscal management of tax dollars," he said. "And we feel we’ve done an outstanding job."

And the levy should not impact property owners that much, Peake said.

"It is nothing above or beyond what the school has had in the past," he said.

The 0.5 mill is applied to 35 percent of each person’s assessed property value, and will generate a total of $1.3 million for the school over the next five-year period if approved, he added.

Based on county auditor figures, a property in Lawrence County valued at $50,000 will cost that property taxpayer $8.75 per year, or 2 cents per day, Peake said. A person who owns a $40,000 home will pay $7 per year, while a $60,000 home will generate a $10.50 per year tax.

Signs have gone up at all county schools and in many people’s homes, Peake said. School boards and civic clubs also have endorsed the levy.

"Remember, the children are our future and those in training now will be contributing to the future of the workforce development of this county," Peake said.

Without levy funding, the school could not provide the facilities necessary to teach those students, he said.

"We have faith the voters will understand the necessity."