Felicity schools to run first levy in 33 years

August 12th, 2010    Author: Brett A. Roller    Filed Under: News

A total of seven local ballot issues will be decided by Clermont County voters this November and few issues spark discussion like school levies.

Felicity-Franklin Local School District will have a levy on the ballot for the first time since 1977.

“It was the last thing the board wanted to do,” District Superintendent Glenn Moore said, “but we, like everyone else, have been effected by this economy.”

Felicity-Franklin will be running a five-year, 1 percent earned income levy that Moore said is expected to raise about $667,000 annually. The tax will be assessed before deductions.

Moore said the board felt an earned income levy would be easier on local tax payers.

"A millage tax didn't make any sense because we would have needed at least 12 mills before we realized any financial benefit," Moore said.

He said the board pointed to the fact that it has been 33 years since they last asked voters to pass a levy as evidence of their efforts to properly manage the funds they have been given. He said the board has made about $2.4 million in cuts in the past three years.

"We can't cut our way out of the situation without devastating the district," Moore said.

He said cuts were focused in areas that would not directly affect education such as reducing the salaries for the nurse and athletic director and freezing the salaries of the administration and classified workers. The district has also eliminated several teacher's aide positions and overtime for maintenance and custodial staff. The district now has a pay to play system for sports and uses a two tiered bussing system which allowed them to eliminate seven bus drivers.

Moore said if the levy is passed the district will receive revenue in about 18 months. The funds will be used to maintain current levels of service. The board is very concerned about funding from the state government. The small rural district relies heavily on funding from the state and Moore said cuts from Columbus could have drastic effects on Felicty-Franklin.

"We'll been in a holding pattern," Moore said. "We can't continue to rely on the state for funding. Even minor cuts from the state would be more than devastating for us."

The Board of Elections was expected to ratify each issue at its Wednesday, Aug. 11 meeting.

Other issues facing Clermont County voters in November include:

• Bethel-Tate School District is running a five-year one percent earned income levy.

• Clermont County Children's Services is running a five-year .8 mill renewal levy.

• The Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board is running a five-year .5 mill renewal levy.

• Central Joint Fire and EMS is running an additional 2.9 mill levy that will be continuous.

• The Village of Amelia is running a 10 mill levy to fund the police department.

• The Village of Bethel is running a five-year .8 mill renewal levy to fund maintenance of Burke Park.

• New Richmond is running a five-year three milll renewal levy.

• New Richmond is also asking voters to decide if they would like to form a commission to frame a town charter.

• Goshen Township is running a 3 mill replacement levy to fund their Fire and EMS department.

• Pierce Township precinct H will decide if the Wal-Mart on state Route 125 can sell liquor and beer on Sundays.

• Union Township precinct Z will decide if Siler's Drive-Thru at 986 Old State Route 74 will be allowed to sell alcohol from 10 a.m. to midnight six days a week.
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