Voters in the Woodmore Local School District will head to the polls Aug. 4 to decide a 5.9-mill, 5-year emergency levy.
Because the school board has decided to not seek renewal of a 4.9-mill issue that is scheduled to expire at the end of this year, property owners will only realize a net increase of 1 mill on their taxes if the emergency measure is approved
For the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000, the additional mill would raise property taxes by about $47 annually.
If passed, the levy will generate approximately $829,000 a year. An emergency levy functions as an operating levy proposed for a specific dollar amount.
According to projections by the district administration and board, the school system would begin to operate in a deficit next year if the emergency levy isn’t passed.
The board in June approved spending cuts totaling about $192,000 that will remain in place whether or not the levy is approved.
Those cuts included personnel and programs at the high school and elementary school.
“We have cut so deep into staff, we’re trying not to cut anymore in that area,” said Jane Garling, school superintendent, adding that she continues to meet with district personnel to discuss other cost-cutting measures.
The board and administration are also preparing for a bond issue on the November ballot that would finance the local share of constructing a new building for pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade.
The Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay 29 percent of the project – estimated at $25.9 million – if the local bond issue is approved.
The new school would replace Woodmore Elementary School in Woodville and a wing of the high school that now houses grades seven and eight.
Garling said the district will realize additional operating savings if the new school is constructed, noting that the elementary school has had flooding problems and needs a new boiler and roof. An extensive upgrade of the electrical system is also needed.
The new building would be constructed on district-owned property adjacent to the elementary school.
Woodmore officials are considering letting another 4-mill operating levy expire in 2010 if the district’s financial situation improves, Garling said, but a lot depends on the state’s budget.
Since 2006, the district is on track to lose about $1.1 million in tangible personal property taxes – levied on business equipment and inventory – because of a phase-out of those taxes mandated by a change in school funding by the state.
“We may or may not be on the ballot for renewal,” Garling said. “We’re laying out our situation like the pieces of a puzzle so the public is aware.”
Polls are open Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the Sandusky County Board of Elections.