Oregon school district asks board for input on renewal levy


Concerned about the cost of going to the polls in May, the board of education has deferred action on a renewal request for the district’s permanent improvements levy and asked the Lucas County Board of Elections for more information.

Instead of placing the measure on the May 7 special election ballot as originally envisioned last week, the board could decide to put it to voters at the general election in November if the cost is lower. A special board meeting on the matter has been scheduled for Feb. 5.

The five-year, 2-mill levy expires at the end of the year, and officials consider it vital to maintaining the district's facilities. The tax, if renewed, would generate about $1 million its first year, based on the district's total valuation of more than $489 million. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $61 per year. Among other things, it pays for improving, equipping, and furnishing school buildings.

Voters adopted the millage in 2008, and it went into effect the following year. Originally it was projected to yield $1.25 million annually, but the collection amount has been less because of declining property values.

Permanent improvement funds also have been used to buy and maintain buses and for technology and textbook purchases.The funds cannot be used for the district’s operating expenses.

At its meeting last week, the board accepted a $30,000 donation from the BP Husky Refinery that will be used to purchase equipment for the integrated machining and engineering lab at Clay High School.