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On split vote, Jefferson decides to try another bond

October 03, 2000

On split vote, Jefferson decides to try another bond



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - On a split vote Tuesday night, the Jefferson County Board of Education agreed to go before the voters again within a year to seek approval for a school construction bond.

The Board of Education will go to voters for approval of a $25 million bond issue, although no date has been set.

As part of the same plan, the board will ask the state School Building Authority for $20 million.

The proposed $45 million school construction plan would pay for construction of a second high school in the county, renovations to Jefferson High School and $3 million worth of improvements to other schools in the county.

Some board members said during a special meeting Monday night that they are concerned that the funding request to the School Building Authority is too much. There was also concern about going to voters for approval for a school construction bond after voters overwhelmingly rejected a $39 million school construction bond a little more than a week ago.

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Board members Pete Dougherty, Peter Morgens and Doris Cline voted for the funding package. Board President Larry Togans and board member Paul Manzuk voted against it.

Togans said he believes it is important to renovate Jefferson High School, and he is worried that the School Building Authority may not award any money to the board if it asks for too much funding.

Togans instead supported Manzuk's plan, in which the board would request $7.2 million from the School Building Authority. Of the $7.2 million, $6 million would be used to renovate Jefferson High and the rest would be used to finish a middle school project beside the high school.

"I thought that was more reasonable, more palatable. I think the SBA could swallow that," Togans said.

The $45 million school construction proposal was developed by Superintendent David W. Markoe after voters rejected the bond referendum.

The only change the board made in the plan was that a second referendum would be held within a year. Under Markoe's plan, the election could have been held as early as May.

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