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Published: Saturday, 7/29/2006

District mulls 6.99 mills for school project in Wauseon

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

WAUSEON - The combined bond issue-maintenance levy proposed for the November ballot by the Wauseon school district would total 6.99 mills and cost an extra $214 a year for the owner of a $100,000 owner-occupied home, according to information released yesterday.

The request would be coupled with state assistance to build a new middle school and renovate other buildings in a nearly $44 million project, not including interest. It would increase by just over 20 percent the amount of school tax that residents in the Wauseon district would pay.

The school board voted unanimously in a special meeting yesterday morning to ask the Fulton County auditor to certify figures for the tax issue, which would generate about $1.2 million a year. A final vote is to be taken Aug. 14 on whether to file the issue with the Fulton County Board of Elections for the Nov. 7 ballot. The request includes bond issues totalling 6.49 mills for 28 years and a 0.5-mill maintenance levy for 23 years, but they are expected to be lumped together as one question on the ballot. The maintenance levy would collect just over $88,000 a year and the bond issues would collect about $1.1 million a year.

Most of the money would be used to construct a building for grades three through eight that would replace Elm Street Elementary and Burr Road Middle schools. The project would be done with the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which would contribute almost $25 million. Local property taxpayers would contribute nearly $19 million in principal, plus about $12 million in interest.

Owners of a $100,000, owner-occupied home now pay about $1,000 a year in taxes to the school district, which collects almost $6.6 million a year in local property taxes.

Total annual real estate tax bills - which include township, county, city, and other taxes - range from a high of almost $1,604 in Clinton Township to a low of $1,498 in Dover Township on such a home in the school district. So on that total tax bill, the school district's November request would be a 13 to 14 percent increase.

The district continues to negotiate for land for the proposed school, Superintendent Marc Robinson said.

Board members spent nearly 90 minutes behind closed doors yesterday to discuss the district's possible purchase of real estate. Mr. Robinson said he expects the board to make an offer on land next month.

"The board is absolutely committed to notifying our community of the site location prior to the November bond issue," he said.

Contact Jane Schmucker at:

jschmucker@theblade.com

or 419-337-7780.



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