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Published: Thursday, 1/29/2004

Lakota, Northwood float levies

Voters in the Lakota and Northwood school districts will be asked to approve levies March 2.

Lakota Superintendent Chris Boyd said his district faces the same financial difficulties as many other districts in Ohio. Lower enrollment rates coupled with less money from the state have forced districts to re-examine their budgets.

Lakota, which stretches from Wood County into Seneca and Sandusky counties, is seeking approval of a 1 percent income tax, which would raise an additional $1.07 million a year. The 1,200-student district has an annual budget of about $11 million.

If the tax is approved, the district would not have to ask voters to renew a 5.6-mill emergency operating levy that expires in 2005. That tax raises about $580,000 a year. But without additional money, the district will face a budget deficit in the 2005-06 school year.

“We can get by for another year, maybe even two, but you don t want to wait until the last minute and try to run a levy election,” Mr. Boyd said. “We re taking a proactive approach. We re going to the voters now before it gets to that critical time.”

Residents in the Northwood Local School District will vote on a 2.5-mill renewal levy for five years to continue paying for permanent improvements.

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