The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


 Members of the Benton-Carroll-Salem school board are unanimous in their opinion a new school building would be an investment in the future and have decided again to ask voters for approval of a bond issue to finance it.

 After discussing the matter during its Nov. 22 meeting, the board decided it will place a bond issue on the May 2017 ballot.  If approved by voters, a new K-7 building would be constructed on land the district owns west of the Oak Harbor High School on State Route 163. It would replace the current Oak Harbor Middle School, which houses grades four through seven, and the R.C. Waters Elementary School, which houses kindergarten through third grades. The buildings were constructed in 1911 and 1956 respectively.

 After hearing a recommendation from a planning committee of community members, the board placed a bond issue on the August ballot but voters rejected it.  The committee’s recommendation also called for renovating the high school building and taking the R.C. Waters Elementary School and Oak Harbor Middle School out of service and demolishing them.  If constructed, the new school building would have capacity for 942 students.

 Prior to the August vote, the board and administration estimated the cost for constructing the building and renovations to the high school at about $43 million.

 Board members last month directed Superintendent Guy Parmigian to advertise for requests for proposals from architectural firms for upgrades to the entrance to the high school building for enhanced security and more space.  The board will use capital improvement funds to pay for the project.


Computer initiative

 A committee studying the technological needs of high school students will continue its work on a proposal to provide Chromebooks for all students at the school.  The board requested the further study after hearing a presentation by committee members.  Parmigian said it’s possible the initiative could be in place for the next school year but issues such as technology policies and support, training for students and staff, insurance fees and financing have to be addressed before a recommendation is submitted to the board.


Davis-Besse discussed

 Board members also discussed the announcement by FirstEnergy it may sell or close its coal and nuclear power plants unless the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio resume their regulating of the plants and establish price-setting procedures.  More than one-third of the school district’s property tax revenues stem from operations at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant.  Parmigian said he and Cajon Keeton, district treasurer, have met with FirstEnergy management to discuss the possible sale and plan to have additional meeting with state officials.

 In a conference call last month with financial analysts, Charles Jones, FirstEnergy president and chief executive officer, said FirstEnergy Solutions and Allegheny Energy Supply, the subsidiaries which own the power plants, are struggling to meet costs at the current prices for power.  Competition from plants fueled by natural gas and from wind farms have helped keep prices down in the wholesale markets where FirstEnergy’s generating facilities compete, Jones said.

 The company last month reported third quarter earnings of $380 million, or 89 cents per share of common stock, on revenue of $3.9 billion compared to third quarter 2015 earnings of $395 million, or 94 cents per share on revenue of $4.1 billion.

 "Our results for the third quarter exceeded our expectations due to the impact of record summer temperatures on our distribution business, as well as solid operations across each of our business segments," Jones said.  "We also continue to make solid progress on our regulated growth strategies that are designed to provide predictable and customer-service oriented growth."

 Selling or closing its generating plants would enable the company to focus on the distribution of power.





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