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Archbold Schools Need More Money By 2011




The Archbold Area School District will need additional money, in the form of a property tax levy or an income tax, by 2011.

Members of the Archbold Area School Board were given the information at the Monday night, May 19, meeting.

Based on current projections, Christine Ziegler, district treasurer, anticipates the district will spend more than it takes in starting in fiscal year 2009.

Fiscal year 2009 starts July 1, 2008, and ends June 30, 2009.

The district currently has a cash balance; at the end of the current fiscal year, Ziegler predicts the district will have about $3.7 million in the fund.

Based on her projections, the district can operate through the 2012 fiscal year, when it will have about $479,000- not enough to cover a month of operation.

Taxes

Ziegler and David Deskins, district superintendent, said two events collide in 2012. Both impact school finances.

First, the state tangible personal property tax, the tax on business equipment and inventory, finally will be eliminated.

Second, the 4.91-mill emergency property tax levy, approved by the school district’s voters in 2006, will no longer be collected.

The two factors conspire to take away $2 million to $2.5 million in revenue from the school district.

Deskins said if the projections in the current five-year forecast come true, the board will be forced to consider asking voters for additional revenue in 2011.

That additional revenue can come from a property tax levy or an income tax.

Two Years

Deskins said if the district can stave off a new levy until 2011, that’s two years further into the future than originally anticipated.

When voters passed the 2006 levy, they were told by school officials that the district would most likely be back on the ballot by 2009.

District officials established a budget and the administration and staff have lived within it, he said.

Permanent Improvements

Deskins said the five-year forecast has some large expenditures built into it.

For example, the district has budgeted money to replace a walk-in freezer for the middle school cafeteria.

Also, he told the board two more school buses have broken down, and it is no longer economically feasible to repair them.

Additionally, the high school gymnasium bleachers have been inspected for the first time since they were installed, and Deskins said the step height was found to be too great- so the bleachers must be modified.

The district received a $2,000 donation from an anonymous individual to assist in the cost of the bleacher modification, but Deskins said the donation won’t cover the total cost.

“Permanent improvement has become a very substantial expense,” he said.

“Our new buildings aren’t new anymore, and they need repairs and updating.”

Planning Document

The district financial information comes from a five-year financial forecast required by the State of Ohio.

It must be filed in May and October.

Ziegler, Deskins, and board members pointed out the fiveyear financial forecast is a planning document, a “work in progress,” as Scott Miller, board president, said.

Ziegler said trying to plan more than two years into the future “is total speculation.”

Deskins said, “it’s our job to try and speculate.”- David Pugh


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