Tuesday, Nov 13, 2018
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Education

Districts predict dire cuts if levies fail

Big bucks at stake in Perrysburg, Sylvania

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    Among the consequences Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler warned of should the 16-mill levy fail is a halt to the construction of Hull Prairie Intermediate School. He also said 74 to 93 teaching jobs could be cut.

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Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to show Perrysburg Schools’ plans for the new Hull Prairie Intermediate School if the district’s levy fails Tuesday. District officials plan to finish construction of the school regardless of the levy outcome but will consider using Hull Prairie as an elementary school to replace two existing elementary buildings that would close if the levy fails. If the levy passes, the school will be used as an intermediate school for fifth and sixth graders as originally planned.

Voters in two of the area’s largest suburban school districts — Perrysburg and Sylvania — will vote on levies next week that, if rejected, could bring large cuts to services.

n1hullprairie

Among the consequences Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler warned of should the 16-mill levy fail is a halt to the construction of Hull Prairie Intermediate School. He also said 74 to 93 teaching jobs could be cut.

THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON
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• Perrysburg Schools has a 16-mill levy renewal on the ballot, which collects $13 million per year. A vote for the levy locks in the amount collected and makes the levy permanent.

Property owners would continue to pay $490 per year per $100,000 of property value.

The levy was first passed in 2004, and the state of Ohio has paid 12.5 percent of the total amount raised by the levy since then. Any changes to the levy’s amount or purpose would forfeit that 12.5 percent state contribution.

If the levy is voted down, Superintendent Tom Hosler said, the district would consider eliminating 74 to 93 teaching jobs, Hull Prairie Intermediate School could become a new elementary school instead of an intermediate school, and the three elementary schools could be consolidated into two buildings. The levy provides 27 percent of the district’s operating budget.

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Sylvania Schools is seeking an additional continuing levy for its general operations and permanent improvement funds.

The 5.7-mill levy would be split, with 4.7 mills going toward the district’s operational fund and 1 mill going toward permanent improvements.

The levy would cost property owners $200 more a year for every $100,000 in property value, and would generate $7.8 million a year.

Superintendent Scott Nelson and other school officials revealed a list of cuts in late September, which would include the elimination of about 40 teaching and 10 staff positions. The cuts would save the district just over $4 million a year.

Other districts are going to the ballot to improve facilities.

Anthony Wayne Schools has a 2.38-mill bond issue on the ballot that would raise $44.2 million if passed.

The issue, which would cost property owners about $84 annually per $100,000 of property value, would fund a replacement for Whitehouse Primary School, which was built in 1932.

The school board would go about placing the issue back on the ballot should it fail, Superintendent Jim Fritz said.

Rossford Schools has a levy and bond issue on the ballot that seeks to raise about $70 million.

If the measure passes, the district would issue about $31.4 million in bonds for constructing and renovating school buildings to allow the district to consolidate into two buildings. A 4.4-mill levy would be collected for paying the debt charges on the bonds. The bonds are repaid over a maximum of 37 years.

The ballot issue would also create a new, continuing 7-mill levy for maintenance.

In total, the issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $399 a year in property taxes.

The district expects to save $4.2 million a year in operating expenses, and if the measure passes, the district would likely seek buyers for the two extra campuses.

Fostoria Schools has an 8.1-mill levy renewal on the ballot, which would raise about $1.6 million. A homeowner would continue to pay $283 per $100,000 in property value for the next 10 years.

Four County JVS, which draws students from 22 schools across four counties, has a continuing levy on the ballot for 1 mill. The levy would fund current expenses and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $3.50 a year.

Contact Zack Lemon at: zlemon@theblade.com, 419-724-6282, or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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