The Press Newspaper
After rejecting a permanent improvement levy request in November by a 41-vote margin, voters in the Genoa School District will again see a levy request on next week’s ballot – but with a twist.
School officials are again putting a 1.6-mill permanent improvement levy before voters but have opted to set a five-year term on the issue. The ballot issue that fell to defeat in November was to run continuously if it had passed.
The 1.6-mill issue will replace a 1.35-mill levy that has been in effect since 1977. The school board and administration have also agreed to discontinue collections on a 1.8-mill levy that’s been in effect since 1984, said Bill Nye, district treasurer.
The 1.6 mill issue, which would be based on current property valuations, will generate about $255,000 annually if it’s passed – equal to what the other levies generate combined.
“By combining the levies into one at current valuations we’re trying to clean up the process so we are not on the ballot so much,” Nye said. “We’ve been fortunate to have them pass every five years. This will make it a smoother process.”
For the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000, the 1.6-mill levy will cost about $49 a year.
“There will be no increase in tax dollars,” Nye said.
Permanent improvement revenues are used for items that have a useful life of at least five years.
Nye said the district is looking at “shoring up” its bus fleet. Textbooks may also need to be updated in the near future and roofing is a recurring issue.
He said the district’s technology director is studying the feasibility of electronic media for textbook use.
“The renewal of this levy is very important to meet our goal of a balanced budget for next school year,” said Jeff Dornbusch, school board president.
Voters rejected three requests for additional millage in 2011.
The district last May saw state revenues reduced by almost $700,000, according to administration figures, and another reduction of about $350,000 is expected for the next fiscal year starting July 1.
The board last fall approved an austerity plan that includes closing Graytown and Carroll elementary schools if an operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot failed.
The schools will be closed starting with the 2012-13 school year, reducing personnel by six teaching and 10 non-teaching positions.