(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – For the first time in more than 40 years, voters in Albemarle County will have the opportunity to cast ballots on a bond referendum that would impact local public schools.

This November 8, the ballot in Albemarle County will include not just candidates for President of the United States and for Congress, but also a question on whether the county should issue $35 million in general obligation bonds to finance improvements at 25 of 26 school facilities. Schools in all three of the county’s feeder patterns are involved.

To help ensure that voters are well-informed on the referendum before they cast their ballots, local government and the school division will be conducting a community information program. The program will not advocate for or against the referendum, but will provide factual information about the projects and their impact on schools and taxpayers.

Three community forums will be hosted by the League of Women Voters in October:

Also, an informational website has been established at www.albemarle.org/bondreferendum, together with a phone number, 434-975-9330. The website contains descriptions of each of the four school projects that comprise the referendum, an explanation of general obligation bonds, and estimates of the impact on the tax rate if the projects are financed by general obligation bonds. Website visitors or callers to the phone line also can submit questions for response or arrange for a speaker to address their neighborhood or organizational meeting.

Other resources will include a fact-based brochure, some limited public service advertising, and informational posters for individual voter precincts.

The local bond referendum will be one of three questions on the November 8 ballot. Two state ballot measures also will appear, one to make mandatory membership in a labor union illegal, and the other to provide localities with the option of offering a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, or search and rescue or emergency medical services personnel killed in the line of duty.

The Albemarle County bond referendum question on the ballot states:

Shall the County of Albemarle, Virginia, contract a debt and issue general obligation bonds in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $35,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds, in addition to any other available funds, to finance the costs of improvements to Albemarle County public schools including designing, building, expanding, and renovating school properties, including new buildings and additions, renovations, and improvements to existing buildings, installing new furnishings and equipment in the public schools, and the related costs to issue the bonds and to reimburse the County for temporary financing? [ ] YES [ ] NO

The last day to register to vote in Albemarle County or to change voter registration information in time for the November 8 election is Monday October 17. For more information on how, when and where to register, visit Albemarle County’s Voter Registration & Elections web page.