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Published: Tuesday, 8/16/2005

Maumee schools put 4.8-mill levy on Nov. ballot

The Maumee Board of Education agreed unanimously last night to ask voters to approve a 4.8-mill continuing operating levy in November to keep the district out of debt for a few more years.

The levy, if approved, would raise more than $2.4 million annually for the Maumee City School District and cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $147 a year on their property taxes.

Voters defeated a 5.9-mill continuing operating levy in May that would have collected $3.2 million a year for the district.

The school district is looking to voters to help offset a projected deficit of more than $3 million by the 2006-07 school year and more than $6 million in 2007-08.

If voters pass the 4.8-mill levy in November, the district would need to go before voters again in 2008 for another levy to fund fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

According to the district's five-year forecast, even with the 4.8-mill levy approved, it would be $1.2 million in debt in 2009 and $5.2 million in 2010.

"It's not a question of what we need right now, it's what we can pass," board President Glenn Rambo said. "The voters definitely rejected 5.9."

In May, 62 percent of voters voted against the 5.9-mill levy.

The district already has cut $800,000 from the 2005-06 budget, in addition to $1.7 million in budget cuts since January, 2004.

Two public meetings have been held about the district's financial situation.

Board members last night weighed the needs of the district with what voters might support when deciding among millage amounts of 4.5, 4.8, 5.1, and 5.4 percent.

"The question is what can we sell," board member Janet Wolff said. "We don't want to put an additional burden on our citizens, but at the same time we have to take care of this matter."

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