WILLIAMSON — Voters in Mingo County voted to continue the school levy, but the new fire levy failed for the second time.
The school levy, which was first enacted back in 1964, was approved by about a 2-to-1 margin. The votes for the school levy were 1,480, while the votes against it were 694.
The fire levy needed a 60 percent margin of approval. Although there were more votes for the new fire levy, 1,193, the votes against it totaled 960.
There were 2,174 votes cast for the school levy and 2,153 for the fire levy.
The special election was held this past Saturday. The polls were open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Mingo County Clerk’s office used paper ballots for this election, rather than electronic voting.
The money from the school levy helps pay for such things as text books, athletic programs, academic programs and many other programs. It does not increase taxes. The fire levy would have increased taxes. However, those who supported the fire levy said the tax increase would have only averaged about $25 per home owner.
The following is a breakdown of the percentage of increase in taxes for the four classes of property: Class I property, 2.34 cents; Class II property, 4.68 cents; Class III property, 9.36 cents; and Class IV property, 9.36 cents.
If the levy would have passed, it would have provided funds for all of the county’s volunteer fire departments and one paid fire department. There are 10 volunteer fire departments in the county, while the city of Williamson has the only paid department.
Officials said this levy could be placed on the ballot again in May 2014. It failed the last time it was on the ballot back in October 2011.
Mingo County is one of just a few West Virginia counties without a fire department levy.