Monday, October 20, 2014

Newbury Levy Fails, but Burton Library Passes
May 6, 2014 by Josh Echt | No Comments

“I’m sure there’ll be another levy and we’ll get ready for that.” – Marty Sanders

Voters in the Newbury Schools district failed to pass another levy during Tuesday’s primary election.

They voted down a five-year, 8-mill additional emergency operating levy by an 871-808 vote, or a roughly 52 to 48 percent margin, according to final unofficial results of the Geauga County Board of Elections.

Had it passed, it would have cost property owners about $280 annually per $100,000 property valuation, according to school figures.

Passage also would have generated $1.35 million annually, Superintendent Dick Wagner previously said.

The next step is for a levy request to appear on the Novem-ber general election ballot.

If that fails, then the school system could be placed on fiscal emergency watch and fall under the control of the Ohio Depart-ment of Education, Wagner said last month.

Wagner declined to comment as of Tuesday night.

The district lost $293,262 in its budget since the 2011 cut of tangible personal property taxes. The state’s funding guarantee decreased from $1.05 million in 2008 to about $572,000 today.

Newbury Board President Marty Sanders said the school district needed to regroup.

“We’re going to get ready for another election coming up in November,” Sanders said. “I’m sure there’ll be another levy and we’ll get ready for that. That’s really about all we can do.”

He said he hated the fact the school board had to keep going back to its voters, citing loss of state funding as a primary reason of the problem.

Burton Library Levy a Success

A few miles to the east, the mood was happier.

Burton Public Library passed its 1.7-mill replacement tax levy by a 740-637 vote (54 to 46 percent margin), according to the final unofficial results.

Passage of the continuous issue means voters will see a $22.75 annual increase per $100,000 property valuation, Burton Public Library Director Holly Lynn said.

Additionally, the levy will generate $113,600 per year in revenue, starting in spring 2015.

The levy is necessary because state-based library funding has been declining for more than a decade, with more than 24 percent of state dollars disappearing since 2008.

The library is currently operating with funding allocations near 1994 levels, Lynn added.

Like everything else, library operating costs have increased, she said, adding the building requires safety updates.

The site of Burton High School more than a century ago, the structure was built in 1884 and has been updated several times.

“We are delighted. This allows us to continue with our plans for the future,” Lynn said. “We’re relieved we can move forward with our plans.”

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