Western Reserve families could see levy request in 2020

Stacey Hartley • Updated Jun 7, 2019 at 3:28 PM

COLLINS — Tax payers in the Western Reserve Local Schools district may soon see a permanent improvement levy on the ballot.

No levy costs to the taxpayers were discussed and no decisions were made.

The board of education invited Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach to its meeting Wednesday to discuss the schools’ levy options.

In addition to sharing district-wide finance rates, Tkach gave a timeline for having a levy on upcoming ballots.

“The cut-off date to have an issue on the November 2019 ballot is Aug. 7,” he said.

The county auditor suggested the board aim for the March 2020 primary — making sure to submit the levy proposal to the Huron County Board of Elections by Dec. 11 — allowing more time to advertise any proposed measures for a better voter turnout.

“For example, there’s the potential for 21 issues on November’s ballot,” Tkach said.

Board members then asked Tkach how long the district would need to wait to receive money from a new levy. They also inquired if it would be better to hold off on major expense requests to preserve Western Reserve’s financial stability.

“Western Reserve has one of the lowest tax rates,” Tkach said.

“I live in the Western Reserve Local Schools district and I am a proud alumni of Western Reserve. I’m very proud of this board and what you do,” Tkach said. “You guys have done very well ... but your buildings are getting older and there needs to be maintenance and that doesn’t come cheap.”

Before exiting the meeting, Tkach commended the school board for its conservatism with spending and maintenance of the school’s facilities and equipment.

Board treasurer Brett Robson then discussed the need for permanent improvement items.

Robson said most of the school’s equipment and facilities need updated, from phones to security and safety equipment to football bleachers and concrete work.

Some of the numbers provided were:

• Parking lot resurfacing — $50,000.

• Key fob access — $52,500.

• Phone system replacement — $130,000.

• Backup generators — $75,000.

• Concrete work — $35.000.

• Football home bleachers — $125,000.

• Sound system in high school auditeria — $30,000.

• Scoreboards — $65,000.

• Estimated total cost — $565,500.

“The boosters have been wonderful,” Robson said.

“They want to help out. We have some community members that really want to help, but the truth of the matter ... is that we ought to be providing these services. We need to provide these facilities. We need to provide textbooks and computers and a secure building. We need to have good facilities.” 

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