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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2010

Forum on Rossford Schools bond issue draws about 75

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lifelong school district resident Scott McCarty agrees Rossford Exempted Village Schools needs new buildings.

But now is not the time to ask voters for money to help fund an $87.2 million plan for three new schools to replace 11 structures and a new football stadium, he said. A construction contractor for 26 years, Mr. McCarty said business these last four years has been the worst in his experience, and Perrysburg Township taxes have tripled since he moved there 10 years ago.

"The school district doesn't have the money - I don't have the money," Mr. McCarty said. "I cannot afford any more. We're in some tough times."

He was among roughly 75 residents who attended a question-and-answer forum last week at Glenwood Elementary organized by the school district. Voters on Nov. 2 are being asked to approve a 5.99-mill bond issue in November that would raise $50 million over 37 years and cost the owner of an average Rossford home valued at $102,100 about $187 a year.

That annual amount initially could be lower because the district plans to use income from enterprise-zone agreements, which would decrease the amount of millage to be collected, officials said.

Whether the school district will be able to maintain new buildings, including a middle school and high school complex to be built near Glenwood Elementary during the first phase, were among questions Mr. McCarty and others asked.

So was whether the district will be able to sell bonds that will help fund the second part of the overall plan, about $37.2 million for a consolidated elementary in downtown Rossford on the site of the middle and high schools.

A group working to defeat the levy, Coalition for Effective and Efficient Rossford Schools, is holding another informational meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at Friendly Village Club House, 27696 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg Township.

The coalition's goal is to begin a planning process for schools that would get more input from the community. The group's chairman is Robert Densic, an architect who in April resigned from the district's facilities committee, which worked on a recommendation for the school board.

Many residents last week spoke in favor of the levy. Both proponents and opponents are waging a campaign through yard signs and other methods.



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