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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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A special board meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 25th at 7:00 PM in the Clay High School Library/Media Center to discuss the district’s finances and look at the long term financial needs of the district.

The current Five Year Forecast shows the district will begin deficit spending at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

Board President P.J. Kapfhammer is urging the public to attend the meeting and provide input on the future of the schools.

“I want to hear from the community which direction they want us to go.  We have a great school system, but I am concerned that without additional revenue the quality of education will suffer.  It is clear that we are not going to get any help from the state.  If we want to maintain our great school system we will have to do it ourselves,” he said.

Jane Fruth, treasurer of the district, said at a board meeting on July 17 that revenue for the fiscal year came in 1.5 percent over estimates.

“The major increase was due to the unexpected $393,000 delinquent tangible personal property tax payment we received from a local company. There’s no way to forecast or estimate delinquencies,” said Fruth. “It looks as though, when you look at the true cash report, we had a 3.9 percent increase in revenues over last year. That really isn’t accurate. It’s inflated by the refunding and refinancing of HB 264 project, which is going to provide us with significant interest savings. Our revenue is declining.”

An update to the five year forecast, she said, showed the district improved “very modestly.”

“But the trends remain the same. With the cycle of school funding and the valuation reductions we had in the five year forecast, it does show a need for future concerns in the trends when you look at fiscal year 2015-16 when our cash balances will be declining,” said Fruth.

If the district passes a levy in 2013, the revenue would not be collected until the following year, she added.

“So there’s always a bit of a lag as to when you put the levy on the ballot and when you collect. That’s why you need to get ahead of it a little bit. The sooner you get in there, the lower the millage you can ask for, too,” said Fruth.

“The special meeting is going to be geared towards how do we fix this deficit,” said Kapfhammer. “What would it take to pass a levy, and when to do it? The meeting will be like an open house for the public. We will get input from everyone so we are better educated as a board as to what the community wants. The meeting needs to be pushed throughout the community so everyone can come and talk about it and see what they want from us and what we need to do.”

“The results of the recent Community Survey indicated that the community wants more input into decision making,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Zalar. “This meeting will be an opportunity for the community to help chart the future direction of the district.”

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