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Oregon schools seeks 5.9 mill levy on Tuesday
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:44

The Oregon City Schools district has a 5.9-mill five-year emergency operating levy on Tuesday’s ballot.

The district faces a $2 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. If passed, the levy is expected to bring in $3.4 million annually.

In the last three years, the school board has cut $8 million from the operating budget.

If the levy does not pass, the school board will reduce the operating budget by about $2 million for the 2011 – 2012 school year by cutting 20 additional teaching and staff positions, eliminating the Career & Tech program,  reducing kindergarten from all day every day to all day every other day, increasing athletic participation fees, reducing cleaning services to buildings, eliminating or significantly reducing bus service for all high school students, and implementing a process to close an elementary school and/or reconfigure the district.

If the levy passes, the district would be in good shape financially for the next five years, according to its five year forecast.

 
Northwood - Voters to decide on income tax increase
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 13:43

Northwood voters on Tuesday will decide whether to approve a .25 increase in the municipal income tax.

The income tax rate, currently at 1.5 percent, would increase to 1.75 percent if the measure is approved.

City officials in the last year have made drastic cuts in personnel and services as a result of a reduction of income tax revenue collected due to the poor economy.

Council during the summer debated the need for a tax increase, as well as other options, including charging residents for refuse collection, and reducing or eliminating tax credits to residents who work outside the city.

Council several weeks ago rejected the latter two options, and approved placing the 25 percent municipal income tax increase for three years on Tuesday’s ballot. The revenue would provide funds for capital improvements, capital reinvestment and operating expenses.

Mayor Mark Stoner told The Press last week that choosing to place the measure on the ballot was the better option because it allows residents to decide whether to contribute more payroll taxes instead of the alternatives of more budget cuts, paying a refuse collection fee, or having tax credits reduced or eliminated. Council has the authority to bill residents for refuse collection and eliminate or reduce the tax credit.

 
Contract with Habitat for Humanity under review
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Friday, 22 October 2010 09:36

Oregon city council on Monday will consider a contract with the Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to provide $40,000 of Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) funds for the construction of two single family homes in the city.
 
If passed, the city will pay $40,000, or $20,000 per house, to Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity to enable two eligible families chosen by Habitat to become homeowners.
 
“They will probably use this money either to purchase the lot that they will build the houses on, or for some of the construction costs,” Finance Director Kathy Hufford, said at a committee of the whole meeting Oct. 18.
 
Households selected must have a gross family income at or below 65 percent of the current area median income for the city. Households must complete Habitat homebuyer counseling training and perform volunteer labor hours prior to occupancy.
 
Construction and loan closings are to be completed by August 31, 2012.

 
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