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Voters renew all four excess levies for a second time

MORGANTOWN — To hear Maria Smith tell it, she never had a doubt. 

Smith, Mountain Line’s general manager, said she was confident Monongalia County’s voters would renew the transit levy. 

And they did.  

In fact, voters supported all four excess levies up for renewal as part of Tuesday’s primary. 

But it got close. 

Excess levies need a 60% majority for approval. 

Mountain Line’s transit levy ended up receiving 10,700 votes out of 17,159 cast, which comes out to about 62.4%. 

“I don’t know about nervous. I think there’s been a lot of positive energy about public transit. I’d really like to see that number a little higher, but I’m very glad that we’re not going to be having to cut back service,” Smith said.  

“I’m humbled by the support. It means a lot to know people realize the importance of critical transportation. We always focus on ridership, and it’s not just numbers, it’s people who rely on us to get to work and who need to get to appointments. We really appreciate the support.” 

Of the four excess levies on the ballot, the county fire levy received the most support, receiving 13,252 votes to end up with 76.7% approval. 

The levy provides revenue for the county’s 12 volunteer fire departments as well as the Monongalia County Hazardous Incident Response Team, the Monongalia County Brush Fire Team, the Monongalia County Volunteer Fire Companies Association and, for the first time, the Morgantown Fire Department. 

Monongalia County Volunteer Fire Companies Association President Mickey Rhinehart said he’s encouraged by the amount of support the fire departments received on Election Day. 

“I definitely want to thank the voters who came out in support because this is much-needed money for the volunteer fire departments and the city, since this is the first year they’re being included as well,” he said. “This is one of the primary ways we generate money to keep the departments up and functioning. This lets us purchase the equipment we need and provide the services we provide to Monongalia County.” 

The county’s parks, trails and recreation levy passed with an approval rating of about 71.5%, receiving 12,471 votes in support out of the 17,431 votes cast. 

The levy will continue to support the county park system, BOPARC, Mon River and Deckers Creek rail-trails, the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Westover Park and the Cheat Lake and Laurel Point soccer clubs. 

Monongalia County Parks Director J.R. Petsko said the vote is an affirmation that the community likes the improvements it’s seeing when it comes to recreation. 

“Talking to some of the other park leaders this evening, that’s exactly what we all have, a little bit of gratification that the residents of Monongalia County really approve of what we’re doing,” he said. 

Of the 17,314 votes cast on the county library levy during the primary election, 11,350 were in support, which comes to about 65.5%. 

The levy supports general operations for the Morgantown, Arnettsville, Cheat Area, Clay-Battelle and Clinton District public libraries as well as the Aull Center for Local History. 

All four of the excess levies were originally passed in 2016 and renewed in 2020. 

This second renewal will run from July 1, 2025, through June 30, 2029.  

All numbers are unofficial until certified through canvassing.