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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2012

Oregon school board weighs putting levy before voters

Deficit spending is forecast at end of 2012-13 year

BY CASEY SUMNER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A special meeting to discuss the financial future of the district, including the possibility of putting a levy on the ballot, has been set by the Oregon City Schools Board of Education.

The district's finances, particularly a projected deficit, occupied last week's meeting of the Oregon school board, which was attended by about 20 people and featured a report from district treasurer Jane Fruth.

According to the report, expenditures for fiscal year 2012 came within budget, but over the next five years costs will steadily cut into revenues.

The current five-year forecast shows the district will begin deficit spending at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

After a review of the report, the board voted to call a special session to discuss the district's finances, including a possible levy request. "Do we need one? At some point we will," said board member Patrick Kapfhammer.

But he also said that no decision has been made. "We want to discuss this with the community," he said. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Clay High School library.

The board also received an update on the operation of Clay High School's 283-foot-tall turbine generator, which remains temporarily shut down by Toledo Edison for maintenance.

The turbine, installed to cut the school's electricity costs, began operating on April 29, but Toledo Edison shut it down after a month, citing safety concerns with a switching gear, said Dean Sandwisch, director of business affairs for Oregon City Schools.

The school district will not have to pay the turbine's leasing fee until it's operational, said Mr. Sandwisch.

In other business, Mr. Kapfhammer was unanimously elected board president after Diana Gadus resigned from the position. Mrs. Gadus was elected vice president.

The board's newest member, Michael Csehi, 60, of Jerusalem Township, attended his first meeting last week. He was sworn into office June 29 after being approved by the board to replace Richard Gabel, who resigned June 7 because of health problems.

Mr. Csehi, who retired from teaching in 2011 after 35 years with the school system, was among 11 people who asked to be considered for the opening. He will serve the remainder of Mr. Gabel's term.



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