Written by Zach Maskell
Last updated on December 10, 2012 @ 11:59PM
Created on December 10, 2012 @ 10:49PM
"There's going to have to be some sacrifices," said Preston County's superintendent Larry Parsons about a failed levy.
Had that $1.5 million levy passed last month, it would have helped the county's education system out of their $2.2 million debt.
The school board met Monday where they voted to pass their first reading of a "User Fee Policy." It means all non-school affiliated youth or community groups would have to pay a $25.00 user fee per hour to use facilities at the high school. Other groups would have to shell out $50.00.
Dozens attended the board's meeting to show they don't support the proposed fees. Others said they won't mind a fee, but not as high as what was proposed. Some feel they're being punished because the levy failed to pass, but the board said they've looked into other options and have no choice. They voted unanimously in their first reading.
"The board of education did listen to our concerns, they've been very gracious. I do feel they're in the best interest of the children, but I'm just afraid it's going to lead to another bitter pill for a lot of people to swallow," said Jonthan Bolyard with the Valley League Youth Basketball. Bolyard said his team has already canceled their weekend practices so they can afford to keep the league up and running.
"I wish I could say that this is the last of the sacrifices and inconveniences. Unfortunately it is not. There's a lot more cutting within the budget that's going to hurt employees and really hurt children too, and that saddens me greatly," said Dr. Larry Parsons. He added that he wishes voters would've realized the repercussions for voting against the levy.
Parsons said everyone employed under the county schools will eventually see cuts in their benefits or contracts.
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