Rally, parade for levy support set for Sunday

When Bellaire residents go to the polls on May 7, members of the Bellaire Local Schools Levy Committee are encouraging voters to remember the following: “your community, your kids, your schools.”

And to help see the work being done by the Bellaire Local Schools and students on all fronts, the community is invited to a wide-ranging event Sunday afternoon and evening.

The levy that Bellaire voters are once again considering is 8.25 mils and is 5-year limited. That means the levy can be voted out after the five years should the voters feel the school district has done what it’s said was going to do with the approved levy.

The levy is a property tax levy. According to the levy committee, if the value of a home is $100,000, the cost of the levy would be $21 a month.

“Most of us spend more than a dollar each day on a cup of coffee or a pop,” said levy committee member and Bellaire Middle School teacher Sheri McAninch. “There’s a belief out there that people’s taxes are going to go up thousands of dollars and that’s not the case.”

If voters break down the levy, it would work out to just 75 cents a day.

Bellaire Local Schools have been battling financial distress for several years and the voters haven’t supported a levy of any sort. This levy will be aimed at four areas should it be approved.

Those areas are technology, transportation, restoration of lost programs such as art, music, physical education and school security, which is a hot-button issue all over the nation.

To help spread the word, the Bellaire Levy Committee is welcoming the entire community out for a parade Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The first 100 kids to come and march in the parade will receive a free t-shirt.

“We’re hoping businesses, groups and/or individuals will join us for the parade just to show their support,” McAninch said.

The parade will begin and end at Bellaire High School. The route will be a mile loop through the community and it will return to the high school auditorium where all of the other events will take place.

There will be a talent showcase and rally held from 5-7 p.m. According to McAninch, there will be nearly a dozen talent acts and some five speakers. Along with the talents, there will also be displays of students’ artistic talents.

All of the students who’ve been honored as ‘students of the month’ will be recognized and there will also be a meet the team for the baseball, softball and track teams. There will also be free hot dogs and pop.

McAninch has been excited about the amount of support from the community the levy committee has received.

“We’re so excited to have more parents getting involved in the planning with this,” McAninch said. “We’ve been averaging around 20 people on our committee and most are parents and concerned citizens. It’s exciting to see the positive turn things are taking. We want to help address issues that are keeping people from voting for the levy.”

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com