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Residents have time to reconsider

Earlier this month, residents in the South Point School District rejected a plea from their schools to pass a levy to provide matching funds to allow the district to take advantage of Ohio School Facilities Commission building assistance program funds.

Monday, November 22, 1999

Earlier this month, residents in the South Point School District rejected a plea from their schools to pass a levy to provide matching funds to allow the district to take advantage of Ohio School Facilities Commission building assistance program funds.

Although the defeat was not embarrassing, voters seemed unsure that new schools were high on their agenda for the coming years.

The levy will be before the voters another time before the opportunity is passed on to another school district, so South Point voters will have a chance to reconsider next year.

And in the meantime, there are a few issues parents and residents should consider before making their decisions on the next levy vote.

First, this is a limited time opportunity. While the benefits of a new consolidated elementary school, a new high school and a remodeled high school to replace the current middle school will be around for many years, the initial cost is enough for some people to balk at making the investment now. The reality is that there are plenty of districts in the state that would love to have the funding if South Point decides to pass it up. If voters continue to reject the levy, the offer will go on down the list.

Second, the repairs will have to be made and the buildings replaced eventually. Now, the state is willing to provide the vast majority of the funding. If these repairs and building projects are necessary in the future, the residents will bear the total cost. Students cannot attend schools that are not heated or in extreme disrepair. If that condition occurs, voters will have no choice but to fund the necessary work at a much higher cost.

There are many other reasons to consider approving the levy the next time around, but no matter what their final decisions are, voters should take the time necessary to review all the options before rejecting the state’s offer.

An open mind could mean higher property values, better schools for the children of South Point and a chance to get a real bargain. And all those are worthy of consideration.