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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2005

Sylvania schools may not need levy until 2007

Sylvania Schools likely will not need to go to the voters with a levy request for operations until 2007, Carol McElfresh, treasurer and chief financial officer of the system, told the board of education at its most recent meeting.

Ms. McElfresh said expenditures have been reduced often by small measures, but she cautioned that her projections are based on current state funding formulas for local school districts.

The Sylvania system received almost $4.7 million in 2003 from tangible personal property taxes collected from businesses in 2003, but that will be reduced to about $175,000 in 2010.

That loss, she said, is supposed to be made up from another state source.

A five-year projection of school finances shows a positive balance through 2008, although that figure is less than $1 million. The projection shows a negative balance of more than $6 million in 2009 under current financial circumstances.

The board will need to consider going to voters in 2007, because even with a measure passed in that year, the system won't begin to collect funds until 2008.

The projection shows a negative balance of about $6.6 million for the 2009 fiscal year, and increased income will be needed before then to avoid that circumstance.

Brad Rieger, superintendent, said employees of the system have been conscientious about keeping expenditures down.

The system has been careful about large expenditures and has even had a special meeting with bus drivers to make certain vehicle aren't idled more than necessary.

In addition to uncertainties about state funding, the system has concerns about the future costs of fuel and medical insurance, Mrs. McElfresh said.

Nevertheless, she said that given current data, the system should get through next year before considering a new request for funding from the voters.

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