Some confused over Findlay school levy

Report by Dick Berry - email
Posted by LS

FINDLAY (WTOL) - There is some voter confusion in Findlay. It involves a school levy on the November 4th ballot.

Findlay voters are being asked to approve a 5.9 mill replacement operating levy for city schools.

It will pay for the daily operations of the district such as salaries, utilities and textbooks. If the levy fails, the district -- at least for now -- will not be affected.

"Fortunately, we're putting this on at the earliest possible time, so if it does go down, we would have a couple opportunities next year to pass it," says District Treasurer Mike Barnhart.

Early passage or failure will impact the future of a planned bond issue. The district hopes to replace three middle schools with two. The state will pick up 32 percent of the cost. Voters must first approve new bonds to cover the 68 percent local share.

The operating cost though must first be in place. Treasurer Barnhart compares it to financing a home. "Before you go looking for a new home, you have to make sure you have day-to-day operating expenses, utilities, all that. If you can't do that, have no business building a new home," explains Barnhart.

Campaign literature points out the November 4 levy is not for new construction. School officials will wait and go to voters for that once operating expenses are approved. "This is an existing levy. We're asking to replace it. Not 5.9 additional mills."

The goal is to have both plans passed by the end of 2009.