2008-08-13 / Front Page

New School For Pettisville?

Voters Decide Nov. 4

The Pettisville Local School Board voted to place a $4,830,000 bond issue for a new school building on the Nov. 4 ballot at the Monday night, Aug. 11, board meeting.

The board has been working on constructing a new building, with the assistance of the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

State officials are offering to give Pettisville almost $17.6 million toward a school building costing approximately $21.4 million.

Pettisville's local share, plus "LFIs," locally funded initiatives, is $4.83 million.

Locally-funded initiatives are options for the building that don't qualify for OSFC funding.

To repay the bonds, the board will ask voters to approve a property tax levy that will average 7.36 mills over the 28-year life of the bonds.

In addition, voters will be asked to approve a half-mill (.5) levy for permanent improvements. The half-mill levy, for upkeep of the new building, is required by the OSFC.

The half-mill levy is a continuing levy; it will remain on the books forever.

Earlier, Pettisville school district officials said the total 7.86- mill package would cost the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 about $20 a month, or $240 a year.

For a senior citizen, 65 and older, with a $100,000 home, the cost would be about $15 a month, or $180 a year.

The board passed a resolution asking the Boards of Elections of Fulton and Henry counties to place the bond issue question on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot, with relatively little discussion.

Special Needs

Dan Sauder, board member, asked about a portion of the resolution that declared the district a "special needs" school district.

Steve Switzer, district superintendent, said school districts are authorized to issue bonds for up to 9% of their total district valuation.

The $4.83 million Pettisville schools needs for its new building project is close to 12% of the district's $40,357,300 total property valuation.

He noted that the school district total property valuation is decreasing because of the loss of the personal property tax.

Officials of the Ohio Department of Taxation granted the district permission to assess property tax in excess of the 9% figure, because the ODT expects Pettisville's total property valuation to grow in the future.

Plans

In the past, Switzer said the new school will be built on land south of the old building. It will utilize the 1994 gym-library-offi ce addition that was built with privately-raised funds.

Once the new building is complete, the original high school, and most of the later elementary school addition, will be demolished.

Following the school board meeting, board members adjourned to a work session.

Switzer said the purpose of the work session was to prepare for presentations, which will be given at four informational public meetings.

The first was scheduled for last night, Tuesday, Aug. 12.

There are meetings scheduled for 7 pm tomorrow, Thursday; 10 am, Friday, Aug. 15; and 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 8.

An information booth will be set up during the Pettisville Elementary School open house, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 6:30-7:30 pm.

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