COLUMBIANA SCHOOLS Board seeks volunteers to spread word about levy

The board will vote on the levy again at a special meeting Monday.
COLUMBIANA -- Calling all volunteers: The board of education is asking for help in promoting the district's permanent improvement levy.
Board President Stephen Cramer estimates about 200 volunteers will be needed to convince voters of the need for a permanent improvement levy that failed last Tuesday.
Cramer said more help is needed to get the word out about the levy because apparently there was a lack of communication to voters.
Board members voted to place the 1.6-mill replacement levy on the May 7 ballot. The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday to vote on the measure again as required by law.
Treasurer Lori Posey said in the interim, the county auditor must certify the millage necessary to raise the specific dollar amount.
In a special election last Tuesday that saw just 653 of more than 4,000 voters in the school district go to the polls, the permanent improvement levy fell 389 to 262.
The five-year, 1.6 mill permanent improvement levy would replace the current levy that expires in December.
Uses: Superintendent Patricia Hura said the replacement levy would generate about $192,000 annually. She said over the years the permanent improvement levy revenue has been used to buy items such as new textbooks, computers, desks and floor tile.
She said the district needs new school 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 are now paying 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.
She said the permanent improvement levy now 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, she said.

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