Final cost of levy election announced

ELKINS — Randolph County officials announced Thursday the final cost of the Randolph County Schools levy proposal election in March.

County Clerk Brenda Wiseman said the total cost of the election was $45,383.90 during Thursday’s Randolph County Commission meeting.

“We originally anticipated it was going to be in excess of $50,000, so thank you for keeping the expenses down as much as possible,” Commission President Mark Scott told Wiseman. “That’s still a considerable cost, though.”

“That’s still a lot of money, but it’s less than I thought it would be,” Wiseman said.

The county will prepare an invoice for the cost and present it to the Randolph County Board of Education for reimbursement.

Commissioners Scott, Chris See and David Kesling voted unanimously in January to fund the levy election. Scott noted at the time that the Randolph BOE will reimburse the cost of the election to the county whether the levy passes or not.

“The way we understand it, the statute says, if you don’t vote for it, you’ve got to prove that you don’t have the money for the special election, and that’s not the situation here,” Scott said during the Jan. 17 commission meeting.

During that Jan. 17 meeting, courthouse officials estimated that the cost of the special levy election would be around $55-65,000.

A total of 3,726 votes were cast against the levy on March 9, or 66.19 percent of the vote total, while 1,903 votes were cast in favor of the measure, or 33.81 percent.

School levy proposals have a recent history of failure in Randolph County, where three attempts to pass a schools excess levy were voted down between November 2015 and November 2016.

In November 2016, a proposed levy failed by almost 2,000 votes. In May 2016, a proposed levy failed by 544 votes. In November 2015 a proposed levy was defeated by 542 votes.

The next county commission meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. May 2.

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