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Residents hear levy facts

South Point area residents are being offered the opportunity to pass a 4.

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

South Point area residents are being offered the opportunity to pass a 4.84-mill property tax levy, which would provide about $7.1 million as a local match to $23.4 million in state building assistance funds, said Rick Waggoner, superintendent.

This money would be used to build a new high school, consolidated elementary school and to renovate the current high school into a middle school, he said.

"Every district in this county has passed a levy when given this opportunity, except for South Point," Waggoner said. "It is really important that we pass this. If we don’t, the state will say ‘we gave you the opportunity and you didn’t take it.’ And we will not see more state funds."

There will be only one more informational meeting before the Nov. 2 election – 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Burlington Elementary School, said Renae Warnick, co-chair of the South Point Committee for Better Schools.

But the campaign will not stop there, Mrs. Warnick added.

"There is a chance we will never get this opportunity again," she said. "People need to open their minds until they hear all the information. We are going to contact every registered voter by mail to inform them of the bond levy."

Hundreds of South Point School District residents have already been contacted, and school officials and committee members say those who have been contacted are in favor of the property tax levy, Mrs. Warnick said.

However, no one can ever be 100 percent positive how an election will go, said Mrs. Smith, who also is a committee member.

"The levy we passed in the 1980s for the new high school passed by a very small amount," she said. "And the building is small for the number of kids we had. But it had to be that way, because the school board was not willing to spend taxpayers money for land acquisition. And all the funding for the new high school came from the community."

If the community was forced to come up with all the money needed for the proposed school project, it would be more than three times the amount asked for with the state contribution, Mrs. Smith said.

"I am a lifelong resident of South Point," she said. "I graduated in 1972, and this is the first time the state has ever offered us any money. If we don’t take advantage of this now, in 10 years when we have to have the new buildings, instead of $8 million, the community would have to come up with $40 million. We can’t afford that."

Any resident who did not have the opportunity to go to one of the four public informational meetings may call Rick Waggoner at the board office at 377- 4315. Information regarding the bond issue also is available on Channel 39 on Armstrong Cable.

There will be a parade through South Point in support of the levy Nov. 1, Mrs. Warnick said.

"The parade will start at the old post office," she said. "There will be a combination of the middle school and high school band. We’re doing this to remind people the night before the election to get out there and vote."

State Sen. Michael Shoemaker was supposed to attend Monday’s meeting, but because of personal reasons could not make it. He did send a letter that voiced his strong support of the issue, Waggoner said.