Voters will go to the polls May 5 to decide the fate of Issue 15, a four-year operating levy for South-Western City Schools.

Voters will go to the polls May 5 to decide the fate of Issue 15, a four-year operating levy for South-Western City Schools.

If passed, the levy would raise nearly $21-million annually for the district.

Polls throughout Franklin County will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on election day.

Officials with the Franklin County Board of Elections project that 9 percent of those registered in the county, or about 76,000, will turn out. The estimate is based upon voting in other off-year primaries.

Sullivant Gardens, 755 Renick St., no longer will be a polling location for some SWCS voters. It has been changed to Dodge Park Recreation Center at 667 Sullivant Ave.

School board members already have approved $1.6-million in budget cuts for the 2009-10 school year if the levy passes, and nearly $8-million if it fails.

Programs on the chopping block if the levy fails include all extracurricular activities and a reduction in the number of students eligible for busing.

At events scheduled to discuss the levy, school officials have heard from those supporting the levy and those who oppose and criticize it.

Gary Leasure, chairman of the pro-levy movement, said the situation at SWCS is no different from that of other districts in the state.

"It's tough times, but it's a problem for all schools," he said. "Hopefully we have a victory."

Leasure said levy supporters will hold rallies in the area of all high schools in the district April 30.

In the weeks leading up to the rallies, the nearly 3,000 volunteers with the pro-levy movement have gone through neighborhoods on "massive door-to-door (literature) drops" and made phone calls to remind residents of the coming election, according to Leasure.

"I'm so pleased with all the help we got," he said. "There's just so much work that goes on to do this."

Leasure said pro-levy organizers have purchased 100 radio spots on 94.7-FM and 63 spots on 97.1-FM radio stations.

Levy supporters will "cover the corners" of major thoroughfares in Grove City and Galloway on May 1 and 4.

They will spend the night of May 5 watching election results at the South-West Career Academy.

Terry Jones, president of South West Alternatives to Taxes, said the roughly 10 members of the anti-levy organization will hold a "tea party" on the corner of Stringtown and Hoover roads on May 2.

"We're just going to protest against the raising of our property taxes," Jones said. "I think more sacrifices can be made from the district."

Jones said the proposal to cut extracurricular activities is merely a political tactic by district officials to win votes in favor of the levy.