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Published: Saturday, 11/2/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

2013 VOTERS GUIDE

Napoleon schools return to voters with tax request

Liberty-Benton, EHOVE, Gibsonburg, and Bryan among other area districts with ballot issues

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A yard sign urges voters in Napoleon to support a 2.9-mill, five-year school levy. Tuesday will mark the district’s latest attempt to secure new operating funds. A yard sign urges voters in Napoleon to support a 2.9-mill, five-year school levy. Tuesday will mark the district’s latest attempt to secure new operating funds.
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NAPOLEON — A funding proposal on Tuesday marks the fourth attempt the Napoleon Area City School District has made in recent elections to obtain additional dollars from taxpayers.

This request is for 2.9 mills for five years to pay for current operating expenses. It would generate about $880,000 in its first year and cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $109 a year, Superintendent Steve Fogo said.

Voters denied previous proposals, including a half-percent, five-year income tax request in May and a 3.9-mill, five-year levy in November, 2012. “We’re still in deficit spending. We’ve made just shy of $1.5 million in cuts over the last three years, [and we’re] still spending more than we are bringing in, which obviously we can’t do,” Mr. Fogo said.

If voters reject this proposal, he said the district would make additional cuts, including the elimination of five teaching jobs, cuts in other positions, and an increase in fees students pay to participate in sports and clubs.

The Napoleon proposal is one of numerous school issues voters will decide throughout the region.

Liberty-Benton Local Schools in Hancock County seeks approval of a $19.7 million bond issue to be repaid over 35 years and a 0.5-mill continuing maintenance levy. The funds would pay the local share of a $31.8 million school building project.

Combined, the two proposals would cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $227 a year, Superintendent Jim Kanable said.

The state would contribute about $12.1 million to the project. The district plans to build a new kindergarten through eighth-grade building next to its high school near Findlay.

The oldest part of the existing complex serving those lower grades dates to 1921. If the new building is approved, the district plans to sell that property.

Mr. Kanable said a new, two-story building would house elementary students on the bottom floor and middle schoolers on the top floor.

The district has an option to purchase land near the high school for new building, which would open for the 2016-17 school year.

The Milan-based EHOVE Career Center, which includes 16 school districts from Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Lorain, Richland, and Ashland counties, is asking voters for a 0.5 mill continuing levy to replace a five-year levy first passed in 1979.

The levy currently collects about 0.27 mills, generating $821,469 a year. The replacement levy would generate nearly $1.5 million a year. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home would increase from $8.20 a year to $17.50 a year.

The operational funds would be used to maintain and grow technical and academic programs at the center, which enrolls about 3,000 full and part-time adult learners and 840 high school students from 16 school districts, Superintendent Sharon Mastroianni said.

Voters in the Gibsonburg Exempted Village School District will consider a 0.75 percent, five-year income tax for operating expenses that would raise about $725,000 in its first year. In May, voters rejected a request by about 40 votes for a 1 percent income tax for 10 years, Superintendent Thomas Peiffer said.

He said the tax is needed to make up for lost state support.

The Bryan City School District is asking voters to approve a nearly $32.8 million bond issue to be repaid over 28 years to cover the local portion of a new sixth- through 12th-grade school, remodel a middle school for prekindergarten through fifth grades, and demolish several of the district’s existing school buildings.

The proposal would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $260 a year. The total project is estimated to cost about $57 million, with the state contributing about $18.9 million. The district has about $5.75 million in a permanent improvement fund it would also use to pay for the project, which if approved could be completed in about 2017.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com, 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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