Advertisement

Berkeley leaders endorse bond deal

September 18, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday adopted a resolution endorsing Berkeley County Schools' $51.5 million taxpayer-financed school construction proposal.

"I think we have an obligation to support this bond issue," Commission President Ronald K. Collins said.

If voters authorize the Berkeley County Board of Education to issue $51.5 million in bonds in a special election Sept. 26, the owner of a home with an appraised value of $200,000 would see a net increase of $69.35 on their residential (Class II) property tax bills in 2010, school officials have said.

With the authorization, the school district would receive $25 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA) for a new high school in Spring Mills, W.Va., and another $20 million in state money is expected, though not guaranteed to be awarded for three other projects, Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon II has said.

Commissioner Anthony J. "Tony" Petrucci said he considered the school bond issue proposed as an "investment down the road" for future generations, including his own family.

Advertisement

The Commission's resolution of support joins similar endorsements in recent weeks by Martinsburg City Council, the Berkeley County Development Authority and the Eastern Panhandle Business Association.

Board of Education member Pat Murphy told commissioners Thursday that he and other school district leaders understand that the bond question comes amid difficult economic conditions.

"We're not going to go out and criticize the community (if it fails)," said Murphy, who praised voters for their consistent support for the school district's excess levy over the last 54 years and past school building bond issues.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|