LORDSTOWN 5-year levy set for Nov. ballot

It will be the second time this year voters have been asked to pass a school levy.
LORDSTOWN -- A five-year, 6-mill emergency levy for the cash-strapped school district has cleared the last hurdle before the November ballot.
The state financial planning and supervision commission, appointed to oversee district finances, approved the levy language at a meeting Thursday. That vote followed two votes from the board of education to place the levy on the ballot.
The levy would generate about $770,000 annually.
Ohio Auditor Jim Petro declared the district in fiscal emergency late last year, citing a projected $1.3 million deficit, and the five-member commission was appointed. The request must be to Trumbull County Board of Elections by next week for the levy to appear on the November ballot.
November's levy attempt is the latest attempt to cut costs and generate additional revenue for the district.
Voters rejected a 10.2-mill emergency levy in May. That levy would have brought in about $1.3 million in each of the five years.
Cost-cutting measures: The district has made about $540,000 in cuts so far this year, including eliminating several staff positions, and the state commission is considering additional belt-tightening using a state performance audit and staffing analysis.
Board members had considered going for a continuous levy and requesting 7 mills, which would have generated about $898,000 annually. They opted for the lower millage and an emergency levy. An emergency levy is for a set dollar amount that isn't affected by the fluctuations in property valuation.
The performance audit recommended cutting several teaching and other positions as well as other cost-cutting measures such as closing rooms not in use. Commission members plan to review the performance audit, which is divided into financial systems, human resources, facilities and transportation. Facilities is the first section set for review and consideration by the commission.

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