The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Zalar at a special school board meeting Nov. 4 rallied supporters of the 5.9-mill emergency levy, which was defeated on Nov. 2, and urged them to remain united to resolve a $2 million budget deficit expected in the next school year.

“We had tremendous support from the board of education, from our teaching staff, classified support staff, administrative team, and the community,” said Zalar. “I think we set new standards in terms of the amount of money that we raised to run that campaign, the number of volunteers who contributed their time. I’ve heard from many, many people about the amount of information that was published. I don’t think anybody can say they weren’t aware we were on the ballot, they weren’t aware of what the issues were.”

Voters on Nov. 2 rejected the levy for the second time since 2009 by a vote of 3,605 to 1,119.

The school board has cut nearly $8 million from the budget in the last few years as a result of House Bill 66, which phased out tangible personal property taxes for businesses and created budgetary shortfalls for several school districts.

Parents of students attending Rocky Ridge Elementary School are watching various scenarios they claim could be implemented by the Benton-Carroll-Salem school board next year to reduce costs or raise revenues.

A letter distributed in the Rocky Ridge district lists six scenarios – most of which include closing buildings - presented by the administration during a recent work session of the board.

The letter, signed only “Concerned Parents of Rocky Ridge”, claims the administration’s approach to cutting the budget focuses only on facilities.

School board members intend to solicit public input on the options, according to a press release issued by the board after the Oct. 26 work session.

“A reduction of facilities is being considered due to reduced student enrollment, increasing operating costs, and the opportunity to reduce facility maintenance costs while maintaining or improving educational quality,” the release says.

Help for homeowners to battle ash borer
The WSOS Community Action Commission, Inc. is accepting applications until Nov. 24 for grants to assist with the removal of ash trees from residential property.

The removal program, which the commission is administering for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is designed to assist homeowners in the fight to limit damage caused by the Emerald Ash Borer.

The program provides funds for removing one ash tree per property with additional removals allowed through matching grants. The program provides for 65 percent of the removal costs for households at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines or half of the cost for households above the level.

WSOS has distributed application information to area local governments.

Interested persons should call Cindy Brookes, (419) 334-5016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian is urging the public to use caution at the Coy Road and Starr Avenue intersection due to a new bike lane configuration that is uncommon in the city.

The intersection was recently widened to accommodate dedicated left turn lanes on all approaches, a dedicated right turn lane for eastbound Starr Avenue, and a dedicated through lane for the eastbound Starr Avenue bike lane.

The eastbound approach to the Starr Avenue intersection was designed with a dedicated right turn lane as a result of the high volume of right turn movement to southbound Coy Road. The dedicated right turn lane is located to the right of the dedicated bike lane as required by the Ohio Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

At the intersection, for eastbound traffic, bicyclists in the bike lane heading straight through Coy Road, and motorists turning right to southbound Coy Road, cross paths.

The bike lane configuration, more common in other communities with bike lanes, is new to Oregon.

Det. Mick Lento, of the Lake Township Police Department, has some straight forward advice for township residents: lock the doors of your garages and other residential buildings as well as your vehicles.

The township has been hit by a string of burglaries in recent weeks as thieves focus on garages, barns, and other out-buildings.

Det. Lento said a majority of the buildings involved in the burglaries had been left unlocked.

“We’re getting hit pretty hard,” he said. “We want to get the word out to the residents to secure their homes and buildings.”

Four of the residences hit were on or near Owens Road.

Hand and power tools, generators, and other equipment are being targeted although one resident had venison and fish taken from a freezer.