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Published: Wednesday, 1/25/2006

Archbold: Officials flirt with bid for levy on May ballot

ARCHBOLD - Archbold school officials hope to get an indication from voters as to what sort of ballot issue they'd support during a communitywide discussion Feb. 6.

Officials are flirting with the idea of putting an operating levy on the May ballot for Archbold Area Schools

"We're trying to gain a sense of what the community would be willing to support," Superintendent Ken Cline said.

He recommends the board of education consider placing a five-year emergency levy on the May ballot that would raise an amount equal to the district's $3.4 million projected deficit for 2008.

Reasons for the deficit include significant increases in the costs for utilities, insurance, and fuel. At the same time, the district, which has not been on the ballot since 1993 for operating funds, faces reductions in revenue related to changes in state tax laws.

Archbold has been in the mode of reducing expenditures, Mr. Cline said, such as reducing the staff by four teachers and cutting two bus routes. The district has saved money through large-quantity buying, too.

"We're always trying to implement strategies to maximize our dollars," he said.

The district's basic financial condition will be outlined during the meeting that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Archbold Elementary School gymnasium. The Archbold Community Collaborative will co-host the session.

School officials have been gathering information from residents in recent months through a variety of means, including small group meetings with civic organizations and kitchen-table discussions in people's homes, Mr. Cline said.

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