Early voting set for park levy

NEW CUMBERLAND – Early voting for the New Cumberland Park Board special election, for the renewal of the parks and recreation excess levy, will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 4 and will continue through Jan. 15, City Clerk Tammy Jenkins said.

Early voting hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Voting will take place in the city office in the New Cumberland Municipal Building.

The special election is scheduled for Jan. 18. Polls at the municipal building will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The excess levy is the primary source of revenue for the New Cumberland Park Board.

Voters passed the levy in the May 14 municipal election but not by a sufficiently high number of votes. The levy passed by 56 percent (120-93), but state law requires municipal excess levies to pass by a 60 percent margin, said Deputy State Auditor Ora Ash.

The city was informed of the need for a new election in correspondence with Ash several months ago. The current levy expires on June 30, 2014. If it is renewed in January, it will last through June 30, 2018, Jenkins said.

The levy generates more than $42,000 a year toward the Park Board budget. The tax is collected at a rate of 12.5 cents per $100 of assessed value of owner-occupied property and 25 cents per $100 of assessed value of Class 3 and 4 property, including cars, boats and rentals, according to the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office.

The Park Board, which also gets revenue from rental fees and state taxes, is responsible for New Cumberland City Park and extension, the New Cumberland Community Center, the Eden Valley ballfield and tennis courts, the Dump Bridge park, and the South Chester Street park, Jenkins said.