Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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School levy proposals get rough reception at area polls

HAMLER, Ohio - Patrick Henry schools yesterday rejected two bond issue requests that would have raised nearly $5 million to build a middle school and improve two elementary school buildings. A similar proposal was defeated in November.

The 1.01-mill levy would have paid for improvements to Deshler Elementary and Malinta-Grelton Elementary. The other request, a 2.65-mill bond issue, plus an additional 0.5-mill, would have paid for the local share of construction and maintenance of a new middle school. The remainder of the project would have been paid by funds provided by the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

In other elections:

Residents in the nearby Liberty Center Local district narrowly passed their levy request.

On the third attempt in the last nine months, voters agreed to pay for a 1.51-mill tax that will raise $1.7 million to finish the Edward Harvey Parker Spring Sports Complex. The complex is about one-third completed on 18 acres donated by the Parker family.

The money was needed to complete the project, which will consist of an eight-lane, all-weather track with bleachers and a press box, a boys' baseball field and girls' softball diamond, an expanded parking lot, and a concession stand.

Voters in the Eastwood Local school district rejected an 8.9-mill replacement levy for the second time this year. The five-year operating levy was voted down in a special election in February.

The operating levy would have replaced an existing levy approved in 1996. It would have generated $1.5 million annually, about $500,000 more than the current levy, which expires Dec. 31.

District officials said the levy was needed to generate more money to keep up with system expenses. The Wood County school district includes the communities of Luckey and Pemberville.

Voters in Wood County's Lake Local school district rejected a five year, 1.4-mill permanent improvement levy that would have generated about $66,600 more than the existing levy. The vote was 479 against to 306 in favor. Money generated from the levy is used to maintain buildings and facilities.

In Williams County, voters in the Bryan school district overwhelmingly defeated a five-year, 12.5-mill request to raise an additional $3.56 million annually to offset a projected $1 million deficit. It also would have funded the creation of an alternative, afternoon program in the high school, paid for a full-time curriculum director, and funded construction of classrooms, among other improvements.

There will be shiny new yellow buses bringing students to Evergreen schools. Voters approved a 2.4-mill, five-year replacement tax levy that will pay for the buses and other equipment and instrument purchases.

Delta will not have a new library in the wake of the defeat of a 2.53-mill bond issue to raise $3.4 million to construct a new building, an issue that was defeated in a previous election.

In Ridge Township in Van Wert County, voters defeated a proposal to pay for fire protection.

Fire protection for nearly 700 residents depended on passage of the levy, officials said. They are covered by the Van Wert fire department, but the city raised its rates last year. The city made a pact to cover the township even though it hadn't paid the higher fee, but said the township had to pass a tax proposal in 2001 to cover the cost.

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