TRUMBULL COUNTY Voters give their OK to levies for troubled school districts

Voters in the LaBrae district will see three new buildings constructed.
WARREN -- School officials in the Hubbard, Lordstown and LaBrae districts feel like the weight of the world is off their shoulders, as voters opened their wallets Tuesday.
Approval came to 10 of 11 school issues on the general election ballot. In Brookfield, a 1-mill levy for educational technology was defeated.
In Hubbard, voters passed one new school levy and one renewal.
A 5.5-mill emergency levy approved by 68 percent of voters will raise $1,047,214 per year for five years. A 6.4-mill renewal levy passed by 53 percent will raise $1,218,709 per year for five years.
Passage of both issues will enable the district to avoid a state takeover, which would have meant a declaration of fiscal emergency and the appointment of a commission to take over district finances.
Superintendent James Herrholtz said he's proud of the campaign effort and community for coming together to support the school system.
Improving academics is the highest priority, Herrholtz said, noting that new books, technology and some school furnishings will be purchased.
Lordstown's results: In Lordstown, the district will be receiving $770,000 annually with passage of a 6-mill levy by 53 percent of voters.
Despite cuts, the district, which has been under state-imposed fiscal emergency since December, had faced a $730,000 general fund deficit by June 30, 2003.
One of the problems that faces the district is that it will stop receiving a portion of the village's income tax at the end of 2002 fiscal year.
"This does not put us on easy street," schools Superintendent Raymond Getz said, adding, "It does put us on a fast track to financial recovery. It's a real big step."
Getz said the district will have to continue to spend carefully in order to rebuild the confidence of the community.
Construction OK'd: In the LaBrae district, 50.67 percent of voters approved a 5.4-mill issue that will permit the construction of three new buildings.
The issue will generate $8,909,000 as the local share and $20 million from the State of Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
LaBrae Superintendent Ronald Joseph said construction will begin in about a year.
A school for grades three through five, another for grades six through eight and a high school will be constructed.
Tuesday was the first time the issue was placed on the ballot.
Joseph said that although he believed the district would eventually receive the state funding, "I didn't think it would be this quick."

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