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Margaretta considering levy extension

Alissa Widman Neese • Jun 30, 2014 at 10:49 PM


Margaretta Schools is the third local district hoping to land a successful levy renewal this fall.

At a meeting Monday, all five school board members agreed to send a resolution to the Erie County auditor, declaring their intent to renew the district's 7-mill, five-year emergency operating levy for the first time.

Voters first approved the tax measure in 2010.

It currently costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $214 a year in taxes, district treasurer Jude Hammond said.

If approved, the renewal levy would not increase taxes from current rates. 

Once the Erie County auditor certifies the renewal levy's millage, Margaretta school board members must approve a second resolution to officially place it on the November ballot. The deadline to do so is Aug. 6.

The levy generates about $1.2 million annually for Margaretta Schools general operations.

The district's annual operating budget is nearly $14 million, according to its most recent five-year financial forecast on the Ohio Department of Education website.

Just four people attended Monday's school board meeting, and no one spoke about the matter.

School board members from Clyde-Green Springs Schools and Huron Schools recently approved similar resolutions for tax levy renewals in November.

Focus on security, new facility

Also at Monday's meeting, board members agreed to lease a plot of land to the district's charter school, Townsend Community School, in preparation for its new building project.

The site, on the west side of Margaretta High School, is currently a parking lot for senior students.

It'll eventually house a two-story, 15,000-square foot facility, equipped with state-of-the-art computer labs and 15 office-style classrooms.

Margaretta Schools is charging the charter school $200 a month for 10 years to lease the location, and then the pair can renegotiate the cost, Hammond said. 

At 7 p.m. July 10, Townsend Community School will meet with prospective contractors and possibly award the construction project, board president Gene Smith said. They'll meet at the district's school board office, 305 S. Washington St., Castalia.

Officials also discussed improvements to the district's current facilities Monday.

At the close of the meeting, outgoing superintendent Ed Kurt and incoming superintendent Dan Schroer said they'll meet with local law enforcement next week to start refreshing the district's crisis plan.

Margaretta Schools received a $5,000 school safety grant this year from the Ohio School Facilities Commission to install buzzer entry systems at its two existing buildings this year, which Kurt and Schroer also will discuss.

Margaretta Schools renewal levy

•7-mill, 5-year tax levy.

•Will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $214 in taxes a year, the same rate homeowners currently pay. 

•Will generate $1.2 million a year for day-to-day district operations, including employee salaries and benefits.

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