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Lake levy OK'd after 2 rejections

Swanton district’s voters renew 4.5-mill issue

Scott-Eisenhauer

Scott Eisenhauer casts his vote at the Lake Township administration building. A 6.75-mill school levy passed.

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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On the brink of starting the school year in their shiny new high school, Lake Local Schools administrators were celebrating passage of a badly needed new operating levy Tuesday night.

A three-year, 6.75-mill levy passed by more than 100 votes -- much to the joy and relief of Superintendent Jim Witt.

"I guess more than anything I'm happy for our students and our staff -- the sacrifices that they've made and the way they've hung in there," he said. "We've kind of changed the attitude over the years of wanting to be successful to expecting to be successful in all of our endeavors, and I think this is just another example of that."

Twice last year -- in August and November -- Lake voters rejected requests for a 4.75-mill levy. The board made a number of budget cuts and went to voters with the larger, 6.75-mill request, which is expected to generate $1.47 million a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $200 a year.

Despite the comfortable margin of passage, the school board went ahead with a previously scheduled 10 p.m. special meeting to take steps to put the levy before voters again in November. Mr. Witt said that once the Wood County board of elections certifies the results and those results are still positive, the board will be able to take the issue off the November ballot.

The Swanton Local district, which encompasses parts of Lucas and Fulton counties, also was successful, as voters agreed to renew a five-year, 4.45-mill emergency levy that failed in March. The levy brings in $825,000 a year and costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $136 annually.

Elsewhere in Fulton County, voters in the village of Delta renewed two separate five-year, 0.5-mill levies that each bring in about $21,300 a year to help pay for Delta's fire contract with York Township and maintain the fire station on Main Street.

Voters in the Clyde-Green Springs Schools district, which draws voters from Sandusky and Seneca counties, again rejected a new operating levy after defeating a slightly larger levy three times last year.

Superintendent Gregg Elchert said the board did not plan to put the five-year, 4.78-mill levy back on the ballot in November, in part because the district will be asking voters to renew a permanent improvement levy at that time.

Margaretta Local Schools, in Sandusky and Erie counties, narrowly renewed a five-year, 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy that brings in about $175,000 a year for building improvements and technology upgrades.

Voters on Kelleys Island narrowly defeated an additional five-year, 1.25-mill operating levy.

In Williams County, voters in the Bryan City Schools defeated a 28-year, 3.9-mill bond issue that would have generated $18 million to build a prekindergarten through fourth grade elementary school and demolish Lincoln and Washington elementaries.

In neighboring Edon Northwest, district voters also rejected a combined three-year, 0.5-percent income tax and a three-year, 3.7-mill operating levy.

Voter turnout was reportedly light. In Wood County, 43.5 percent of registered Lake voters cast ballots. In the Fulton County portion of Swanton schools, 1,196 of the 4,317 registered voters cast ballots, while in the Lucas County portion, just fewer than 19 percent of Swanton school voters turned out.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.

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