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TRUMBULL COUNTY Ballots will include Fairhaven school issue



Published: Fri, April 25, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Weatherfield School District's income tax would apply only to residents.

WARREN -- A levy that raises one-quarter of the revenue for Trumbull County programs for the mentally retarded is the only countywide issue on Tuesday's ballot.

The 1.5 mill, 10-year levy raises about $4.3 million for Fairhaven, which runs programs for 1,100 mentally handicapped and developmentally disabled adults and children at several locations.

The levy would raise the same amount next year as it has in the past. It was first approved in 1998.

The levy is especially important to Fairhaven because of state budget cuts. Already, Fairhaven has absorbed $300,000 in cuts this year, and more are expected, said superintendent Douglas Burkhardt.

"The levy is crucial," he said. "It is 25 percent of our operating budget."

Fairhaven underwent a $2 million round of cuts two years ago, laying off employees and cutting programs. The budget for schools, sheltered workshops and retirement programs for the disabled is now $18 million a year.

Money to pay for the levy campaign is raised through Fairhaven's annual golf outing, he said.

In Weathersfield

Another notable tax issue in Trumbull County is a 1 percent income tax sought by Weathersfield School District.

Income tax is an unusual way for school districts to raise funds, but if the issue is approved by district voters, the 1 percent tax would apply only to residents, not to people who work in the district.

A 1 percent income tax would raise $860,000 a year for the district, which is struggling to maintain solvency.

The district was placed on state fiscal watch as of March 31.




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