By Kalea Hall
Without the revenue from two renewal levies, the Boardman school district would be forced to make a massive cut in teacher positions, officials say.
Boardman Park’s levy also is crucial to its operating budget, park officials maintain.
For the schools, there will be a five-year, 2.4-mill renewal levy that generates $1,999,547 annually and a three-year, 1.8-mill renewal levy that generates $1,468,774 annually on the May election ballot.
Boardman Park will have a 0.03-mill renewal levy that generates $218,000 annually.
Frank Lazzeri, superintendent of Boardman schools, is confident the two school levies will pass.
“If [our] schools weren’t so good, I think it would be a much harder decision,” Lazzeri said. “[I think] they will vote affirmatively on these issues.”
The funds generated from the levies go straight to the general fund that is the source for salaries, operational costs and new purchases.
“We are a personnel-driven entity because we educate kids,” Lazzeri said. “Therefore, 80 percent of our budget goes to our personnel.”
The 2.4-mill levy first passed as a 6.7-mill levy in 1979 and has generated the same funds since then.
The 1.8-mill levy first passed as a 3.9-mill levy in 1984.
“These are not new taxes, these are renewals,” Lazzeri said.
Boardman Park relies more on levies because of a cut in state funding.
A 1-mill levy was instituted in 1948 and, 66 years later, the park still has three levies that equal 1 mill.
The levies generate approximately $753,925 annually.
“[It] keeps the green oasis green,” Executive Director Dan Slagle said.
Slagle believes people appreciate the park — considering the park increased its attendance by 13 percent last year. “Based on that, we assume that they take advantage [of the park],” he said.