COLUMBIANA LEVY Schools to take third try

Levy proponents plan a door-to-door campaign to help pass the issue.
COLUMBIANA -- School officials and boosters are mounting a more vigorous campaign this time around in an effort to pass a 1.6-mill permanent improvement levy.
Voters have twice defeated the district's request for the replacement levy, in the May primary and in a special election in February.
The issue will again be on the ballot in a special election Aug. 6.
School Superintendent Patricia Hura said previous campaigns were more low-key, with smaller signs and not much fanfare.
Now, the signs around the district are bigger. The levy committee plans a door-to-door campaign, and district residents will show their support by tying red and white ribbons on their front doors.
Hura said the levy committee has developed a database of the district's registered voters in an effort to improve its mailing list.
Value of levy
The permanent improvement levy now in effect was first passed in 1982 and generates about $123,000 per year, she said.
Because of increased property valuation, the 1.6 mills originally passed has been reduced, and 0.9 mills is now being collected, she said.
A replacement levy, as opposed to a renewal, would set the millage back to 1.6 mills and generate about $210,000 per year, she said.
She said permanent improvement levy revenue can be used only for textbook or school bus purchases or upkeep of district buildings and other facilities. It can't be used for salaries.
Repair and replacement of roofs at Joshua Dixon Elementary and South Side Middle School, for example, cost the district nearly $200,000, Hura said.
Five of the district's nine school buses are 10 years old or more, with the oldest a 1983 model, she said.

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