Sugarcreek, Ohio - The Garaway Board of Education is hoping the third time's the charm for an emergency levy that failed by narrow margins during the last two elections.
The group met Monday for a work session and agreed to a third attempt on a 10-year, fixed-sum levy that would raise just over a million dollars annually for the school district.
Superintendent James Millet says the board considered several different factors before deciding to put the levy back on the ballot during the May 2019 election.
“The board discussed the results of the levy, looked at our need again, revisited our five-year forecast. The message is that the need hasn’t gone away so there’s an interest there from the board to pursue the 4-mill levy again,” he says.
Millet says the additional funding will help the district maintain and improve its buildings while keeping its budget in the black.
“Boilers at the outlying buildings for sure are on our horizon, and those are really expensive, and parking lots. We have not been able to address parking lots on our existing revenue because those numbers are so large,” he says.
The superintendent says the money would also be used to fund safety improvements throughout the district.
“We have one large one that we’d really like to address and that’s video cameras for surveillance. We have not been able to do that. That’s not in the existing budget. We tried for some grants and have not achieved those yet,” he says.
Millet says the decision to go back to the taxpayers is not one that the board takes lightly.
“In asking for additional money, we want to be as conservative as possible and still meet the needs of the school district, our regular operating needs that we have, the projection of rising expenses and the additional needs of building improvements,” he says.
The next step will be for the board to pass a resolution to have the county auditor certify the levy millage.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV