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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Genoa school officials are hoping to overcome what they see as confusing ballot language when they push for passage of a replacement levy in March. 

The district’s school board has approved resolutions needed to place a 1.6-mill, five-year replacement levy on the ballot that would – with voter approval – continue to fund permanent improvements such as new equipment, building repairs, and other similar expenses.

Voters rejected a 1.6-mill, continuing levy last month by a 41-vote margin, according to results reported by the Ottawa County Board of Elections.

The board and administration again plan to emphasize the new levy won’t result in any additional costs to property owners in the district, said Bill Nye, district treasurer.

Nye said that although the ballot language will indicate an existing 1.35-mill levy would be replaced, resulting in an increase of 0.25-mills, the net result to property owners would be no increase in taxes because the school board has also filed with the Ottawa County auditor to cease collection on another existing 1.8-mill permanent improvement levy should the 1.6 replacement levy pass.

That’s because replacement issues are levied on current property valuations but a renewal levy millage is based on the valuations in place the year an issue is first approved.

A homeowner with a residence that has a market value of $100,000 would continue to pay about $49 a year if the 1.6-mill permanent improvement replacement levy is approved by voters.

“Basically we’re taking two permanent improvement levies and combining them,” Nye said. “People will see an increase in millage listed on the ballot but there will be no increase in cost to the taxpayers. The effective millage decreases to reflect higher valuations.”

Arbitration decision final

An arbitrator’s decision calling for two former girls basketball coaches to be paid for the 2010-11 season is a done deal and won’t be appealed, according to the district administration.

Tom Kontak, who was head coach of the team, and Chris Rawski, an assistant coach, were paid $6,085 and $4,527 respectively after an arbitrator ruled on their grievances filed through the teachers union against the school board.

“The (grievance) process is complete,” Nye said.

Kontak and Rawski filed grievances after not being rehired as coaches following the 2009-10 season, claiming an agreement between the board and union includes a provision for coaching contracts to be renewed if they complete the required paperwork indicating they want to return as coaches the following season.

Their status as teachers wasn’t an issue in the grievance, Nye said.

The Genoa board hired Michael DeStazio, a former coach of the Woodmore High School girls basketball team, for the 2010-11 season.

DeStazio, and assistants, Doug Perkins and Chris Clark, have been hired for the current season.

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