Archbold, OH
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DEVELOPING STORY

School Board Going For Levy Renewal

    Members of the Archbold Area School Board voted to start the process to renew the district’s $1.1 million emergency property tax levy at a special meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 19.
    The measure taken Wednesday was actually the first of two steps required to place an issue on the ballot in the State of Ohio.  Board members passed a “resolution of necessity,” which declares the need for a tax levy a necessity, and asked Brett Kolb, the Fulton County auditor, to certify how many mills must be charged against property tax bills to raise $1.1 million.
    The board will meet again Wednesday Jan. 26, at 6:15 pm in the Archbold High School new conference room for the second step, which is to ask the Fulton County Board of Elections to place the levy question on the May 2 Primary Election ballot.
    Reading from a prepared statement, Jon Lugbill, board president, said, “As you, the board, and the community are aware, the five year emergency operating levy that generates $1.1 million in revenue for the district is scheduled to expire at the end of 2011.
    “For the past several months, we, the board, have been reviewing and discussing this matter in detail. Many factors have been considered: the current economic conditions, the uncertainty of the change in leadership for the State of Ohio, and what type of impact would this potential loss of revenue to the school effect existing student programs within the district.
    “As we stated in past meetings, the district administration and staff have worked very hard to hold the line on expenditures this past five years, which have resulted in a flat line or decline in spending. We, the board, are very appreciative of all that has been done- your hard work has not gone unnoticed.
    “However, our work is not yet done. The district will continue to look at areas of possible reductions that have the least impact on the students. The district will also continue to pursue alternative ways of funding in order to accomplish our goal of equipping our students for success. However, the sources of revenue to fund the district continue to decrease.
    “With this in mind, and after careful consideration of multiple options, we feel that requesting a renewal of the five year emergency operating levy for the same dollar amount is the most prudent decision at this time.
    “While a renewal of the levy may only balance the budget for an additional two years, the board is not comfortable looking too far into the future, given the current economic climate facing our community and the nation.
    “We are grateful for the outstanding programs our community allows us to offer to our students and we say thank you. Because of the work done by the staff and the support given by the community, we are a blessed school district.
    “We would ask our constituents to allow us to maintain these outstanding learning opportunities for our students by supporting a renewal of the five year emergency levy in May of 2011.”
    The vote on the resolution was unanimous.
    Voters in the Archbold Area School District first approved the $1.1 million levy, after two failed attempts to pass larger property tax levies.
    In 2006, the auditor determined 4.91 mills was required to raise $1.1 million; that figure will likely change with a change in property values in the school district.–Posted 1.19, 9:21 pm



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