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Published: Wednesday, 11/8/2006

Early data show wins for Maumee, Otsego

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee and Otsego Local school voters appeared to be supporting permanent-improvement tax requests early today, but the Lucas County board of elections could only give incomplete results for those districts and for a similar levy in Ottawa Hills schools.

In the Maumee City School District, voters were asked to approve additional funds to replace old buses and maintain buildings with a 0.75-mill, five-year continuing permanent improvements levy. The measure was ahead with 68 percent of the precincts reporting early this morning.

If approved, the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $23 a year.

School officials had said the levy would pay for new buses, computers for classrooms, service for vehicles, and rehabilitating one parking lot a year.

Maumee officials said the district has 16 buses that are more than 15 years old. Maumee board members actually voted twice on the measure in August. They voted 3-2 in favor of placing the measure on the ballot but later learned it actually took a 4-1 vote to move it forward. The board members issued that vote several days later.

Maumee voters leaned toward approving the levy on the heels of news last month that the Ford Motor Co. will close its Maumee Stamping Plant, which could put the school district at a deficit by 2011.

Maumee officials made the predictions based on Ford remaining in the plant until 2008.

Lucas County residents who live in the Otsego Local School District, situated in Tontogany, Wood County, also mulled over a proposal to renew a permanent improvement levy. While most of the district is in Wood County, portions include Lucas and Henry counties.

No vote totals for the three Otsego school precincts in Lucas County were available early today, though results in the other two counties showed the levy passing.

The 1.6-mill levy, which was approved in 2003, generates $170,000 annually.

Officials said if the measure is passed, it would not cost voters more money.

Ottawa Hills Local School District voters were also considering a 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy, but vote totals from only one of eight precincts was available early today.

The board of education placed the 5-year replacement levy on the ballot this summer, replacing a 1-mill levy that currently brings in $177,000.

The new levy would generate $265,000 annually. School officials said the additional revenue would be earmarked for roof repairs at the junior-senior high school. The owner of a home valued at $250,000 would pay an additional $42.35 a year in taxes if the levy passes.

In 2004, the school district approved a 5.7-mill operating levy that brings in $1 million annually. District officials said then that levy was needed because of reduced or static funding from the state.



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