The Press Newspaper
The Northwood school board will hold a meeting on June 17 at 6 p.m. in city council chambers to discuss the district’s five year forecast.
The district, which has an $11 million budget, is faced with budget cuts, layoffs, and a possible operating levy this year to ward off a deficit, according to Superintendent Greg Clark.
“Our five year forecast shows that we are going to have to make some changes in the way we do business here, most probably,” said Clark. “There may be some combination of cuts and asking for additional money or a whole lot of cuts and asking for a lot of money. Which direction our board goes with those options is still to be determined.”
Clark said the board wants public input on the options they will be considering to improve its financial outlook.
“We want to invite the community in to hear a presentation regarding what the five year forecast is looking like, and talk about a few of the items we may be looking at, which could include the closure of a school, and listen intently to what the people have to say about what they would like to see. We would like to have good participation.”
The district is expected to have a $300,000 budget deficit at the end of this school year, said Clark.
For the Lake Township trustees, economic conditions have a direct effect on road conditions.
Much of the discussion during the trustees’ meeting last Tuesday focused on a property tax levy due to expire at the end of the year that funds the township’s road repair program.
Major repairs and resurfacing to several roads, including Isch and Wagner roads, are needed, said Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, but revenue generated by the township’s 1-mill, 5-year road district levy is overwhelmed by the costs of repairs.
“We cannot continue to put these roads on the back burner,” she said. “And in these economic times we don’t want to ask for more money. But at what point are you being not responsible by not asking for more money?”
Last year, it cost the township about $60,000 a mile to repair roads, Bowen said, adding the trustees will be seeking input from residents on whether or not the millage should be increased.
If the levy is put on the November ballot as a renewal issue, it would continue to generate the same dollar amount as it did when originally passed.
Ottawa County Common Pleas Court Judge Bruce Winters was incorrectly identified in a May 31 story as municipal court judge.
Northwood sought reassurances from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) that the Wales Road grade separation project will not be delayed beyond 2012 due to plans by the BP refinery to build an electric substation at the site.
In April, ODOT said that construction of the project would be delayed for one year so that the BP can build an electric substation that would replace overhead wires near the site.
FirstEnergy has major power lines at Wales Road that feed electricity to the BP refinery. To relocate the lines would require a shutdown of the plant that would cost ODOT $1.5 million. Instead, BP has a shutdown scheduled for major retooling next year and plans to build a separate substation so it can have an independent feed that will get them off the FirstEnergy line going down Wales Road.
The $14 million project was going to be bid in December, with construction slated next year. The city will now have to wait until 2012.
Administrator Pat Bacon told city council at a meeting May 27 that two local businessmen had discussed their frustration about the delay with State Rep. Randy Gardner at a breakfast meeting at the end of May. They suggested that ODOT do the project in two phases, with the first phase ending at the electric lines. The project would then be completed the following year.
The Press Newspaper’s photographer, Ken Grosjean, has won first place in the photography category of the Press Club of Cleveland’s Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards for 2010.
Grosjean won for his photo of a student at Waite High School who was reacting to TV coverage of Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as part of the school’s World Studies class.
The award will be presented at a ceremony on June 18.