JVS board to put levy on ballot

BLOOMINGDALE -The Jefferson County Joint Vocational School board approved a resolution to place a 1-mill, seven-year operating levy on the November ballot for voters’ consideration during the the board’s regular meeting Thursday.

The proposal would be the same as the one rejected by district voters on the May 7 ballot by a narrow margin. According to Dale Edwards, superintendent, the board believes it had no choice but to once again try to convince voters the levy is needed for major roof repairs and other operating conditions.

“We need that 1 mill,” he said.

Edwards said the roof of the main campus building is badly in need of replacement. He added the district currently has set aside $25,000 to patch the roof, but that is only a “Band-Aid” approach.

“That’s not replacing (the roof),” he said. “That’s just for patching it.

“The roofing man who walked the roof recently with our maintenance supervisor told us we had some serious problems,” Edwards continued. “We just don’t have the money to replace it.”

He noted the patch is only for one small section of the roof, and to replace the entire roof it was estimated to cost more than $1 million more than a year ago.

He added he realizes the levy proposal has been before voters several times and failed, and a new approach will be needed to convince voters.

“We’re really going to strive to get the information out how little this will cost the district voter,” he said. “The annual cost for a residence appraised at $75,000 would cost $26 per year,” he said. “It would only cost a (district voter) with a Homestead Exemption $15 a year.”

Additional items funded by the proposed levy would include building and maintenance supplies and materials, operating licenses, textbooks, tools and lab equipment required for students.

“(All that) totaled up to about $115,000,” said Edwards. “We need additional revenue to provide better training for our students. We even inquired to see if this qualified as an emergency levy, but we were told we couldn’t use that language (on the ballot),” Edwards said. “But it really is at the stage where it’s an emergency.”