Burlington residents hear about levy
Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2004
BURLINGTON - Applause filled the Sybene Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Center numerous times Thursday in support of the proposed bond issue and tax levy voters face in the March election.
The forum was the most recent in a series of public meetings hosted by the South Point Board of Education to update citizens and address their questions about the bond levy proposal that could provide the district with four new schools and a sports complex.
"It's a big opportunity to get new schools … it's like Marshall is to Huntington," South Point Mayor Bill Gaskin said.
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Gaskin said he would like to keep the high school within the South Point village limits because he does not support moving it "out-of-town."
The proposed location at Sand Road is not technically located in the village, but is still located in the district. Burlington Elementary, the school designated to remain at it's current location, is the only building in the South Point Local School District not within the village limits.
Lisa Queen, a middle school writing teacher, said her students were discussing how other area districts had new schools. She said she had her students mathematically break down the property tax costs for a $125,000 home by the day.
"A lot of my students were shocked to find out the cost was going to be around 46 cents a day and I had students who wanted to go home and tell their parents that they would give up their 50-cent pack of donuts in the cafeteria if their parents would vote for the bond levy to get them new schools," she said.
Queen also hypothesized that if South Point's children cannot compete with children from other local updated districts, then family after family could get caught up in a cycle of welfare.
"The taxpayer is going to end up paying more money for welfare than for the bond levy," she said.
Superintendent Ken Cook reiterated that past concerns about the current high school problems will not be repeated because of Ohio Schools Facilities Commission guidelines.
"We are not going to rush into anything. If it means taking an extra three or four weeks, that's fine," Cook said. "I want to know if it's done, it is done right."
Multitudes of students attending the 55-year-old middle school complain about the water tasting horrible and "smelling like rotten eggs," he said.
Cook said the middle school pipes are galvanized pipes under the school's grounds and are as old
as the building itself.
"You can imagine the build-up that occurs in those pipes. That's a major expense right there, if you went to replace those pipes," he said.
Burlington resident Charlotte Tyler moved here from Huntington, W.Va., last year with her husband and 2-year-old son.
"Being an education major myself, finding good schools was a top priority," she said. "I attended middle and high school in West Virginia and I found the educational standards to be below that of most of the nation, and that is the reason we moved to what we thought
to be a better school system.
"With the rate that technology is advancing, it is pertinent for the youth to have available the facilities and equipment necessary for higher levels of leaning if they want to succeed as contributing citizens to our society.
School Treasurer Dan McDavid addressed property tax issues and provided a spreadsheet prepared by the Lawrence County Auditor's Office outlining the effect the bond levy would have on property owners, if approved. The spreadsheet also includes figures for people who qualify for the Homestead Exemption Program.
Glenn Maynard, who lives in the Symmes Valley school district but is employed in the South Point district, said, "I don't see why anybody would not want to better children’s educations through a better school system."
forum will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the middle school. Herb Young, the architect from McDonald, Cassell & Basset Inc. of Columbus is scheduled to speak.