Perkins Schools to seek construction levy

PERKINS TWP. The Perkins Schools Board of Education chose the smallest of four millage options for a November levy to fund construction of a new K-12 campus. The district will ask for approval of a 4.98 mill emergency levy, which would raise $2.25 million per year for the general fund.
Susan McMillan
Jul 15, 2010


The Perkins Schools Board of Education chose the smallest of four millage options for a November levy to fund construction of a new K-12 campus.

The district will ask for approval of a 4.98 mill emergency levy, which would raise $2.25 million per year for the general fund.

By moving millage for different purposes, school leaders hope to take better advantage of growth in the community to pay back as much as $100 million in subsidized and low-interest federal construction bonds during the next 30 years.

In the meantime, the new levy would increase taxes on a $100,000 home by $152.51 per year, and less for senior citizens.

Board members considered levy options ranging from 4.98 mills to 5.98 mills.

"Any one of these four amounts, five years from now we will have a carryover fund balance," superintendent Jim Gunner told them. "The question is how much, and how much more, in year five, will we be spending than we're bringing in?"

Board vice president Steve Schuster wanted a levy of 5.2 mills because school leaders plan to move 5.2 mills of inside millage from general operations to permanent improvements if voters approve the levy. It would make it easier to explain the complicated millage swap, he said.

But the other board members favored the smaller levy for the purposes of marketing and sparing the taxpayers some expense.

"If we can get by with the lowest millage we can get for the voters, that's fine," board president Brian Printy said. "As long as it's not handcuffing us, and you're saying it won't handcuff us."

Gunner said the difference between 4.98 mills and 5.2 mills amounts to about $90,000 per year.

With the smaller levy, the district would carry over about a $3.5 million balance five years from now. This year's carryover balance was $6.3 million.

The board also heard a presentation from Patrick King of investment banking firm Stifel Nicolaus and Co., the district's bond counsel.

King and his associates built a model that takes projected interest rates and projected growth in property valuations to estimate how much Perkins Schools can afford to borrow in federal construction bonds.

Based on average growth in the last 20 years, the district could borrow $100 million with a 30-year payback.

But property values have risen more slowly in recent years, so board members also looked at more conservative projections that would provide for paying back about $68 million.

At zero growth, King said, the district could afford to borrow $46 million.

King said these are the lowest interest rates he's ever seen.

"It's a combination of just generally low interest rates and the bond programs," he said. "It really is just a historical time."


Erie County Resident

It sure is a historical time...                                                                                                                                                           Many of the "tax payers" your asking to fund this are out of work or under employed.

This sounds like a good idea and it would be nice to see something like this.                                                                                                                                                    BUT THIS IS NOT a very good time to ask for more money when the ones being asked to pay are already stretched to or over the limit.


How about putting up more windmills and selling electricity to pay for it?


Why not ask  the families who send their kids to Perkins and do not pay taxes in Perkins to help pay for this "new" school since they are the ones who are taking up all of the space?   Pretend that you are spending your own money Mr. Gunner...would you really do this?  Your school is in much better condition that most homes in Perkins Township.  Do you really need a new school?


And how many $100,000 homes are in Perkins??? It will cost most homeowners a lot more than $152.51 a year!!!


 It's time for the smoke and mirrors. We'll take this money move it to the inside milage. A milage swap. All based on a model of projected growth and projected interest rates. Do we have to pick which cup the money ball is hidden under? Can you say feather in someone's cap? 

Mr. Gunner move into the district you are trying hamstring with a 50-100 million dollar debt for the next 30 years. Put you house on the line, like the rest of us , if this ponzi scheme goes sour.

indolent indiff...

you can't have an emergency levy for construction.  They are not telling you the voters that this money is to simply stay in the black with operating money. 


Someone please tell the board and their consultants that they are out of their minds and that this will never pass.  I haven't talked to one person that is going to vote yes.  Everyone I've talked to actually laughs about this and thinks it's a joke!

hussein membrane

 Do any of the anti-levy commentators actually live in Perkins? 


I wouldn't discuss it with anyone that didn't live in Perkins!


Wow, this is GREAT!  I can live in Margaretta and send all my kids to Perkins while ALL the PROPERTY (Home)  OWNERS of Perkins Township are slaved with an extra $300 - $500 on their mortgage escrow!  THANK YOU Perkins Township.  I am so very grateful for you having the best school system in Erie County and for allowing all my kids to attend for FREE all on your dime!  While I vote DOWN the levy in Margaretta, I am hoping voters in Perkins vote YES!  You MUST vote YES!  It is for the children, it is for our future, you cannot PAY enough for the children.  Just look at the TV commercials for the starving children in other countries, so HOW can you say NO for the children???  Ha! Ha! 


The ONLY way I would vote yes is if they closed open enrollment and sent all the other kids back to their home district.  This is the statement that I am hearing from nearly everyone I have talked to and this is also how I feel.


I have just one question..........Mr. Gunner.............are you NUTS???!!!!???


Not only is he NUTS, all the people "advising" him are NUTS!!!!! 



 Obviously you and those who view this as nuts have zero vision.  Look around you and see where we have gone in the last twenty years.  Without vision you can kiss your property value and any hopes of survival goodbye.  We are fortunately one of the  few areas sitting on growth and the potential to grow even more, i.e. Kalahari, NASA, Legends and those wanting to get on board.  That will only make your chances of survival and property value increase.   Our last administration and board did nothing short of throwing all of us under the bus.  We now get someone positive who has our best interest at heart and you want to throw him and his advisors under the bus.  Take a step back and at least listen to the advantages of how this will make our township thrive and become the envy of those around us.  Ask yourself and those supporting your ill will what the value of your property was and what it is now.  Who are you turning to in this time of uncertainty?  Jim brings hope to our township and our future.  You might want to support that as well.

Outside lookin in

Perkins School District is a Private Company...Look up Perkins School, Ohio under to verify.  Why would anyone vote for a school levy when the money goes to a private company the taxpayers have no control over???

Outside lookin in

WE ALL NEED ANOTHER FOOTBALL STADIUM IN ERIE COUNTY.  We only have 7 now.  What are we .....FARM Clubs for the colleges?



Just Saying

I'm sure the "powers that be" who sit on the Board at Perkins are fully aware they will not pass a levy - they po'd way too many voters with open enrollment. However, give them credit - I'm sure they are ready to throw something at us in their attempt to "persuade" Perkins residents to vote yes. - Could it be no sports, no bussing??  You can bet there's going to be something.


 I don't understand - they want the levy for a new building but the money goes into the general fund? Unless someone corrects me, once it is in the general fund it can be used for anything, right?

I can see all the neighboring school district families signing up for open enrollment, new facilities and no new taxes.  And, unless I remember incorrectly, once a family is accepted, they can stay for the rest of the child's school life?  


Why is anyone suprised? More kids mean more money, according to the State. It dosen't matter where they come from.People of Perkins,I implore you not to pass this levy. Send our children back to the school districts they come from.Open enrollment is not fair to property owners. I commented on an article a couple of months ago, saying the Perkins school district would come to the table with a big levy that will put Perkins in debt for years and generations, lol. Seriously, open enrollment is a joke. How can anyone forecast how many children will be enrolled years from now when their parents don't own homes in the district? I don't live in Perkins and I am fully expecting Sandusky to hit us with another levy through no fault of their own. Blame the State of Ohio. Please, just say no.


open enroller

My. Children are open enrolled in Perkins schools and we live in sandusky. Its not always cut dry as you make it.My childrens father and two sets of grandparents own homes in Perkins.They pay property taxes in Perkins.So if they have no problem with my children going to school on their money.Well then who's bussiness is it of anybody else's?My childrens father, their 4 uncles,and myself went to perkins schools.So before anyone goes trying to speak for Perkins residents about open enrollment you should get all the facts from everyone.My family has no problem with my children being in Perkins schools.Oh did I mention that they are in sports so I contribute to the sports programs in Perkins schools?I pay the fees for the sports that they play just like anyone else.That helps keep the sports programs going right?

True Blue

I can't believe the Perkins School Board idiots think they're going to have their cake and eat it too.  No way!!  You used open enrollment to get millions and now you want the taxpayers to pay for a college like campus.    EVERYONE VOTE NO IN NOVEMBER!!       

Keep Focused

We will have to plan for new schools sometime. If not now, then when? To be taken seriously by economic developers, we will need to have modern school facilities, or at least showing tangiable progress.

To start the process for only one car payment ($350) per year, you can count me in. Small price for a big result.



Keep Focused says

We will have to plan for new schools sometime. If not now, then when? To be taken seriously by economic developers, we will need to have modern school facilities, or at least showing tangiable progress. To start the process for only one car payment ($350) per year, you can count me in. Small price for a big result.





OK, Mr. Gunner.


to Keep Focused:  I just finished paying off my car (for 5 yrs) and plan to put the $$$ away to use as a down payment on the next one in about 5 years or so.  I'm following the "pay myself first" philosophy.  So sorry, I can't support this levy.  The school board and administrators need to open their eyes and realize that folks in this area are hurting, with no good paying jobs available, and seniors didn't get a cost of living increase in their social security.  Maybe they shouold have thought of that when they gave laptops to all the students.  And yes, I do live in Perkins.  Make your voice heard and vote NO!

Just Saying

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity. Discussion Guidelines


OY!!!!!!   Why!!!!!!  The baby boomers are almost gone!

Common Sense

Re:  Taxpayer

It appears as if you do not clearly understand educational finance.

Yes, the Perkins residents will be the only ones associated with the increased taxes in this case. However, your "kids" do not go free to the Perkins Schools. The State of Ohio grants each school with open enrollment a stipend for accepting children outside of their personal district. The cash that the state government pays is provided by YOU, THE TAXPAYER. Therefore, not only do the districts accepting open enrollment students get to see your dollar; your personal school district gets to see your dollars slip away in terms of their state funding. If yoiu are happy about that situation, then, by all means, move your children to a district that supports open enrollment.

As for voting down the levy in Margaretta, the state will be more than happy to come in and alleviate the financial strain you are putting on the Margaretta school system since it has been numerous years since the district has passed any type of school levy. The argument that one has not received a pay raise (or lost a job, or a decrease in wages) does not, unfortunately ,change the amount of dollars it takes to run a household or a school. At some point, the state will take over the finances of the Margaretta Schools and you will either be forced to repay what has been borrowed or it is possible that Margaretta Schools will find their students absorbed (as well as your tax dollars) into another school system. That would be a real shame for the students and alumnae to see that happen.The decision is yours.

My dear departed mother, God rest her soul, would advise you to "sweep before your own (Margaretta) door before you worry about others (Perkins).


What is the state "stipend" amount and what is the cost per pupil in Perkins schools system?

I'll bet each open enrolled child comes to the district as a net loss.

I'm as sure of this (net loss) as I am sure that someone will try to spin a net loss into a gain....

Horse and Pony Show

 Let all of us not forget, this is the same school district that gave the highest paid teachers in the county a raise after they went on STRIKE because they were going to have an increase in their health insurance.