Voters reject school levy
Of more than 4,000 registered voters in the school district, 653 went to the polls Tuesday.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
COLUMBIANA -- Columbiana school officials will send voters back to the polls in another attempt to pass what they say is a much-needed permanent improvement levy.
In a special election Tuesday that saw just 653 of more than 4,000 voters in the school district go to the polls, the district's 1.6-mill permanent improvement levy was defeated 389-262.
The Columbiana County Board of Elections reported a turnout of 550 voters out of a possible 4,276 registered voters in eight precincts. The levy failed in Columbiana County 306-242.
There were 103 ballots cast by district residents in Mahoning County, with 20 favoring the levy and 83 voting against it.
Levy will return: Superintendent Patricia Hura said the levy will be back on the ballot. She said the board will discuss what strategy to take at its meeting Monday.
The five-year, 1.6 mill permanent improvement levy would replace the a levy that expires in December.
Hura said that over the years, the permanent improvement levy revenue has been used to buy such items as textbooks, computers, desks and floor tile.
What's needed: She said the district needs new buses and extensive roof repairs are imminent at both Joshua Dixon and South Side Middle School.
School officials have said the levy would cost district residents less than they pay now because of property value increases.
Hura said if voters approve the replacement levy, the tax collected for the levy on a $100,000 home, for example, would be $25 rather than $28 per year.
Treasurer Lori Posey has said the replacement levy would generate about $192,000. She said the permanent improvement levy in effect is a five-year levy first passed in 1987.
It has been renewed three times since then and generates about $120,000 annually.