Community meetings set to offer levy info

ELKINS — A series of community meetings have been scheduled to provide information to residents about the levy proposed by Randolph County Schools.

Superintendent Gabe Devono said he encourages community members across the county to attend one of the meetings to inform voters about what their particular school will see if the levy passes, emphasizing the levy is “about the kids.”

“We’re going to break it down during the meetings — I think some people will be surprised what their school and their community will get and how much is coming their way,” he said. “This is about our kids, it’s not about other things. … The bottom line is, this levy is for the kids, the students, the children of our community.”

“I think that the more we attend, as board members, the better opportunity it gives us to learn what some of the concerns are outside of what (is said) on social media,” Board of Education president Amanda Smith said. “These meetings give us the opportunity to have some real, face-to-face conversations with people who may be on the fence or who are looking for answers to their questions.”

Devono said he encourages people in the community to come to the county office with questions concerning the proposed levy.

“Anytime you want to know anything, you can go to the schools and they will show you how levy money was spent, and (Brad Smith, RCS director of finance) has everything broken down for anybody who wants to sit down with us, we can tell you where all of this money is,” he said. “With this levy we know where the money is going.

“What we have been talking about more than anything else is people are (concerned about) transparency, and I would say this is probably the most transparent levy that we could have,” he continued. “You can see the older people getting into the games for free, you can see our kids getting into the games for free, you can see every field turfed, you can see the bus trips our kids will be taking and you can see where the libraries are getting money.”

A special election will be held for the excess levy option on March 9.

The total amount for the proposed five-year levy would be $16,150,685 — or $3,230,137 annually — beginning July 1, 2019 through July 1, 2023.

Devono emphasized that county officials are appreciative of fire chiefs in the county for allowing meetings to be held at their departments.

A list of times and locations for meetings are as follows:

Jan. 30 – 6 p.m. at Pickens Volunteer Fire Department

Jan. 31 – 6 p.m. at Coalton Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 4 – 7 p.m. at Tygart Valley Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 6 – 6 p.m. at Valley Head Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 7 – 7 p.m. at Harman Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 12 – 6:30 p.m. at Mill Creek-Huttonsville Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 13 – 6:30 p.m. at Elkins Fire Department

Feb. 20 – 6:30 p.m. at Leading Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Feb. 21 – 6:30 at Beverly Volunteer Fire Department