It pays to plan ahead.
Just in case the emergency property tax levy failed Tuesday night — and it did — the Ashtabula Area City School Board passed a resolution June 20 to place the levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The five-year, 6.4-mill levy for operating costs failed by 587 votes Tuesday, according to the unofficial results by the Ashtabula County Election Board. It would have raised $2.7 million for the school district, officials have said.
The levy was a reduction from the 6.8-mill emergency levy that appeared on the March ballot, which also failed by about 500 votes, Superintendent Joseph Donatone has said.
“(The school board) has done all the procedural work (in getting the levy on the November ballot); Mr. (William) Hill (the district’s treasurer) filed it at the Board of Elections today,” Donatone said. “The school board will discuss whether they want to move forward with it at the Aug. 15 meeting.”
The board also will discuss how to make up a $322,000 deficit this year, and a $1.8 million deficit next year, he said.
When Ashtabula City Council publicly supported the 6.4-mill levy at Monday night’s meeting, Donatone thanked council for supporting the children of Ashtabula.
“We must go to the voters,” he said. “We have no other choice.”
Donatone said the following will happen immediately:
n The student activity fee or “Pay to Play” remains in effect for the 2012-13 school year;
n Three elementary teachers will be laid off, and
n Foreign language classes will be eliminated at the high school.
Donatone said this levy was to support the operating expenses of the district. This includes everything from personnel costs to utility bills.
It pays to plan ahead.
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