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Published: Saturday, 2/14/2004

Districts ask voters for more funding

Jesica Justafson, left, works with fifth grader Devin Barnaby in Swanton Local s Park Elementary School. Voters will be asked to adopt a 1.25 percent income tax. Jesica Justafson, left, works with fifth grader Devin Barnaby in Swanton Local s Park Elementary School. Voters will be asked to adopt a 1.25 percent income tax.
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SWANTON - The Swanton Local School District, which has been juggling funds to meet its meeting payroll, has put a 1.25 percent income tax on the March 2 ballot to keep it from running out of money.

Without the new tax, the district fears it will drop into fiscal emergency or have to seek a loan from the state.

School leaders forecast a $1.2 million deficit by June 30 without added revenue. Voters have turned down operating levies in May, August, and November.

The district s dire circumstances were outlined by Scott Bennington, assistant director of finance and management services for the Ohio Department of Education, during a meeting with residents in January.

If voters pass the five-year tax, the district might qualify for a state catastrophic grant that would keep it out of fiscal emergency, he said.

Swanton was placed on a fiscal caution list, the first of three levels of financial problems on the state s list of districts in trouble.

In Metamora, Evergreen Local Schools, which is facing a financial shortfall in the wake of two earlier levy failures, is requesting a five-year, 0.75 percent income tax. The amount was set because the tax would not begin generating its estimated $900,000 per year until 2005.

The Wauseon Exempted Village Schools 1-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy replacement will be used for building repairs and improvements as well as purchasing computer equipment and educational devices for the district, which educates approximately 2,100 students.

The tax levy would raise $180,400 a year.

Four County ADAMHS Board, which provides services for people with mental health, substance abuse, and family violence issues, 0.7-mill, five-year renewal levy.

The tax was first approved in 1989 and has been renewed twice. The current tax expires at the end of 2004. In addition to that tax, voters have approved one other 0.7-mill tax.

Archbold Community Library, 0.4-mill, 5-year replacement operating levy. If it passes, the levy would collect more than $97,000 a year, about $20,000 more than a renewal levy would generate, the library has said.

The library s 0.4-mill levy was first passed in 1994 by a vote of 1,241 to 287. It was renewed for five years in 1999 with a vote of 675 to 199.

Other levies include:

  • Swancreek Township, 1.25-mill, five-year replacement levy.

  • York Township, 0.5-mill, five-year replacement levy.

  • Gorham Township, new 0.5-mill, five-year road levy.

  • Pleasant View Union Cemetery, 0.4-mill, five-year renewal.

  • Amboy Township, 1-mill, five-year cemetery levy renewal.

    Also appearing on the primary ballot are contested races for two county commissioner seats. Both seats involve Republicans. No Democrats have filed.

    Incumbent Dean Genter of Archbold is defending his seat against Darrell Garmenn of Wauseon for the term that begins Jan. 2. Another incumbent, Paul Barnaby, of Metamora, is challenged by Ronald Lumbrezer, of Lyons, for a term that begins Jan. 3.

    Prosecutor William Swigart, who has held the office for nearly 25 years, will not run for re-election, opening up the position to two Republican attorneys from Wauseon: Roger Nagel and Jeffery Robinson.

    Mr. Swigart was appointed prosecutor in 1978 by the Fulton County Republican Central Committee.

    A fourth primary involves the county treasurer s office. Beverly Schlosser of Wauseon, who was appointed to the post in October, will battle fellow Republican Brett Kolb, also of Wauseon, to retain the seat.



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