B-C-S: Full student busing set for Jan. 6

Larry Limpf

Spending cuts and fee hikes enacted by the Benton-Carroll-Salem school board will be reversed – some immediately – in the wake of the Ottawa County district approving a 3.9-mill, 5-year operating levy last week.
“We said this before the levy that if it passes we’re bringing back busing and Acorn Alley child care effective Jan. 6, 2020, right after Christmas break,” said Guy Parmigian, district superintendent. “We’re working on that right now, adjusting routes to include our high school students and students who live within two miles of our buildings.”
Fees that had been set to cover field trip costs are being dropped immediately, he said, and in the spring, the district will re-instate third grade swimming lessons.
Activities for adult residents, including the use of the indoor track and pool, are also being re-instated.
Parmigian credited a strong door-to-door campaign as well as a social media effort to promote the levy for its passage after failing in August.
“I think that helped, going door-to-door and having those personal conversations. I always had a good feeling that if we could educate and inform our people as far as the need they would respond. I think that’s what happened this time. It was a bit difficult to explain the devaluation (of the Davis-Besse nuclear plant) and what that meant to our budget,” he said. “Now it’s time to write a new chapter in our tradition of excellence. We’re still going to be good stewards of taxpayer money. That will not change.”
According to unofficial results, 1,993 voters supported the levy while 1,946 voted against it. The 47-vote margin was close to the margin of defeat in August when 1,428 voters rejected it and 1,377 voted in support.
The additional millage is expected to generate about $1.5 million annually.


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