Voter turnout high at South Point polls

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Turnout seemed high this morning as voters took to the polls to vote on South Point School District’s 4.

Tuesday, August 08, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Turnout seemed high this morning as voters took to the polls to vote on South Point School District’s 4.99-mill new school levy, precinct workers said.

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Polling places became unusually busy when they opened at 6:30 a.m., probably because the levy has failed twice before, workers said.

"When we opened the polls this morning, we had a rather large number of people standing outside waiting to vote," South Point 1 worker Marlene Arthur said. "Within an hour, we had over 60 people who had already voted on the issue. Of course there is only one issue on the ballot, but that is still a little busier than normal."

South Point school officials scheduled the special levy election this May to make a final attempt to pass the bond issue after residents turned down two previous attempts.

If the bond is passed, it will provide the local matching funds needed to receive millions of dollars in Ohio School Facilities Commission funding to build new schools in the district.

Many voters at the polls this morning held high expectations.

"I hope the levy passes," South Point resident Jan Smith said. "I own property here in the district and I want the value of that property to stay the same. If this levy doesn’t pass, it’s going to effect not only my property but everyone else involved also. My opinion is that somebody paid for my kids’ schooling and now it’s time I pay for someone else’s."

Other residents said the levy is needed to improve education offered to children in the district.

"I am a retired school teacher for the district and my son teaches here," Johnna Jones said. "We need new schools here because there are too many modifications needed to the current schools. I believe that more people will want to locate here if we have modern schools that can offer their children a quality education."

South Point resident Russ McDonald said he opposed the levy.

"I’m not for the new tax levy because I feel I’m paying too much now in taxes," McDonald said. "This issue has failed two times already, so I guess I’ll vote for the third time and see what happens. I just feel the taxes are already too high."

Several Burlington residents said the new tax will only increase taxes slightly and the children should be considered.

"If we can spend several million dollars in a pool here, then we can build new schools for our kids," Lori Cochran said. "The way I look at it, if my property value is $50,000, then the additional tax on my property will only be $100. That’s a pair of Nikes and if that’s all I’m losing to provide a better education for the kids, then I’m all for it."

Burlington voter Jim Gillispie said he feels new schools will increase the chance to bring new industry to the South Point-Burlington area.

"If we don’t pass this levy, we don’t have a chance to bring industry here," Gillispie said. "If people come to the area, they’re going to bring their families and they’re going to look for a good place for their children to get a quality education. I’ve lived here all my life and this is for the kids. Everything in the schools is already too cramped. We need this levy."