HOWLAND SCHOOLS District proposes new levy

The 1-mill levy would raise $585,000 a year for five years.
HOWLAND -- Voters in the Howland Local School District will be asked once again to approve a tax levy for improvements.
The school board approved placing a 1-mill levy on the general election ballot in November to raise $585,000 each year of its five-year life.
"We know that money is not enough to do everything we would like to do for the kids in our district," board member Raymond Tisone said Monday. "We know this is just enough to keep the basic repairs under control."
Intent of levy: Revenue from a permanent improvement levy can only be used for school remodeling, repairs and purchases. It cannot be spent on salaries.
Superintendent John Rubesich said projects the money could be used for include:
UUpgrading the electrical system in the high school. The wiring has not been revamped since the building was constructed in 1949, and is inadequate, Rubesich said. He estimated fixing it could cost more than $400,000.
URepaving all district parking lots at a cost of about $350,000.
UReplacing doors and windows in all school buildings except the high school, where new doors and windows were installed several years ago, Rubesich said. The cost for this could be more than $1 million, he said.
UMaking security improvements, including camera systems and door locks. None of the schools have security cameras now and doors are keyed in a manner that makes it difficult to restrict access, Rubesich said. Security improvements to the schools could cost $60,000, he said.
Previously defeated: The list of projects has changed little since the district asked voters to pass a 0.7-mill permanent improvement levy in November. It was defeated by about 200 votes.
School board members said the defeat was due in part to an article in a local newspaper that misstated the amount of the levy as 7-mill, rather than seven-tenths of one mill.
"There was miscommunication between us, the press and the public," Rubesich said.

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