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Archbold School Levy Renewal In 2015?

The Archbold Area School Board will begin looking at putting some type of levy, including the renewal of the $1.1-million emergency levy, on the ballot in 2015.

Christine Ziegler, district fiscal officer, told the Archbold Area School Board at its Tuesday, May 20 meeting, that without the renewal the district will be in the red in Fiscal Year 2018, which corresponds to the 2017-18 school year.

If voters approve a renewal of the emergency levy, she projects the district will end FY2018 (fiscal years end on June 30) with about $1 million in the bank.

Voters renewed the fiveyear, $1.1-million emergency levy in May 2011.

It is due to expire in 2016.

John Downey, board member, said based on earlier projections the district had been looking to asking voters for additional revenue in 2014 or 2015.

Ziegler said the need for additional revenue had been pushed back.

“Maybe the economy will start to come out of it by then,” said Bob Aschliman, board member.

Deficit Spending

Ziegler said the district has been deficit spending “all along.”

Deficit spending started with the 2012 fiscal year, when expenditures exceeded revenue by close to $391,000.

The deficit hit $843,000 at the end of FY2013.

Because of efforts by the administration, Ziegler forecasts the deficit will be about $704,000 as of June 30, 2014, the end of FY2014.

The district is able to support deficit spending by falling back on a cash balance, which was over $5 million at the end of FY2011.

By the end of the current fiscal year, Ziegler anticipates the balance will be about $3.1 million.

Impacting the financial figures was a relatively large number of district teachers who retired last year. That impact is felt in FY2014 and FY2015.

Also, the district is creating a unit for special needs students in the high school, bringing Archbold students back in-house.

Ziegler noted the district now has revenue coming in for 67.5 open enrollment students, partially offsetting the 96 students who are leaving the district to attend school elsewhere.

In the past, the district got the majority of its money from local sources, such as property taxes.

Now, with the personal property taxes being phased out, Ziegler said the split between state funds and local funds is more like 50-50.

Energy Savings

School officials voted to move ahead with the House Bill 264 project, which allows the district to finance energy-saving upgrades to the school buildings by taking out a loan from the Ohio Department of Energy, and repaying the loan with energy savings.

The district wants to borrow $779,974 to upgrade lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

The upgrades are expected to reduce electric bills by $69,859 per year, which are estimated to pay for themselves in 12 years.

Aaron Rex, superinten- dent, told the board the project is a 90/10 split, with 10% of the overall cost to coming from local funds.

The money will be taken from the permanent improvement account.

Rex told the board the district is operating under the assumption it has been awarded the loan.

If the district is not awarded the loan, Rex said school officials may have to come back to the board to make adjustments.

Among consensus agenda items, the board approved a list for AHS graduates and foreign exchange student attendance awards for the Class of 2014, and accepted a $40,000 donation for the Archbold Athletic Building Club.

Money from the club will go into the permanent improvement fund.

An April 8-12, 2015 trip for the AHS choir to New York was approved.

The board also approved soliciting bids for repaving the elementary driveway and crack filling and sealing.

The board went into executive session for about 40 minutes. Stated reason for the closed-door session was discussion of employment, compensation, promotion or demotion of public employees.

The next board meeting is Monday, June 16, 4:30 pm, in the media center.

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