(Annie Brewer/WOUB)

Alexander’s Levy Passes In Unofficial Results

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Athens County saw two races in the May primary Tuesday night, one of which was the approval of the Alexander Local School District’s operating levy.

On its sixth try for passage, Alexander’s levy squeaked through for approval with a margin of five votes in unofficial Tuesday totals.

The 1% earned income tax levy passed in the May primary with a grand total of 1,177 votes for the levy, and 1,172 votes against. Those votes include portions of Athens and Meigs counties, along with a small portion of Vinton County that lies in the district.

Superintendent Lindy Douglas said the district is aware there are still provisional votes to be counted, but she’s optimistic because of the work that was put into the campaign.

“We truly appreciate all the communities that came out to support us,” Douglas said Tuesday night.

Provisional ballots will be counted May 24.

Just one year ago, Alexander was in a different situation, with 50 votes separating the levy from passage.

With the levy unsuccessful in its last five attempts, the school system has reduced the levy amount, cut staff through attrition — meaning not rehiring for positions that become vacant — and used an “energy conservation project” in 2009 to cut natural gas and electric costs to save money, according to the district.

The district has made changes to the levy in the multiple attempts, including reducing the percentage of the levy, which in 2017 was 1.5%.

In the Athens City Council race for First Ward, Arian Smedley won with 100 votes (71%) to opponent Samantha Miller’s 40 votes (28.6%).

Smedley, who previously served on council when she was appointed to fill the unexpired term of outgoing member Jennifer Cochran, said she was excited to get back to work.

“I am humbled and I appreciate the vote of confidence,” Smedley said Tuesday night, adding that she hoped to work on issues like sidewalks and housing concerns as she begins her new term.