Belmont ballot heavy on levies

BELMONT COUNTY – A week from Tuesday, voters in Belmont County will take to the polls for the May 7 special election, facing a number of critical decisions.

For this election at least, the focus is fixated squarely on a number of levies that are seeking passage as none of the city and village officials positions received enough candidates for contestation.

Those filing candidacy will move on to the general election will they will see opposition from independent candidates.

So for now, election season is about seeking funding via levies.

Voters in St. Clairsville and associated townships will be voting on a pair of levies – one pertaining to the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District and the other concerning operations at Memorial Park.

The school levy is continuous and is for 2.75 mills.

The memorial park levy, while less in amount at 0.25 mills and only in effect for five years, has gained the most notice from residents on the hilltop and beyond.

Should the levy fail, the park board has voted to close the park on May 10.

Pool manager Bruce Moynihan has said previously that is the levy fails, Allen Pool would “definitely not operate this summer.”

Bellaire residents, no strangers to levies in recent years, are again facing the decision of whether or not to pass a levy seeking to bolster the Bellaire Village School District.

This is the district’s sixth attempt in the last three years – three levy attempts and two tries for an income tax – have been shot down already.

The district is seeking passage of an 8.25 mill emergency operating levy that would be in place for five years.

Bellaire and St. Clairsville aren’t the only school district in need of levy passage.

Residents in the southern end of Belmont County, those residing in the Switzerland of Ohio school district, are looking at the decision of whether or not to pass a 5-year, 6.44 mill levy.

District board members already have plans in place to make major cuts and changes to the district should the levy fail.

On the Northern end of the county, residents residing in the Belmont County half of Yorkville will be voting both on a 2.1 mill, five-year levy for the Buckeye Local school district, as well as a 1 mill, 7-year levy for the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School District.

Bridgeport residents and the surrounding townships and villages that support the Bridgeport school district are looking at a 1.0 mill, 5-year levy. The main aim of this levy is to continue to provide school resource officers in the district.

Finally, the Village of Bethesda has two levies on the ballot.

The first is a 3 mill, 5-year replacement levy for salaries and operating expenses for the village’s police department.

The other is a 1.5 mill, 5-year levy for road repairs, construction and related expenses.

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