It’s official: Madison-Plains Local School District will be asking for a more than $2 million emergency operating levy.
The board voted unanimously for a resolution to submit the levy to be placed on the Aug. 8 ballot.
The levy is an Emergency Operating Levy, asking for an additional $2.05 million per year, for five years. Based on current property values, that would mean owners should expect an additional $207 per $100,000 of value the property is worth.
The levy is to avoid an incoming fiscal cliff. According to the current financial forecast, the district will be at a negative balance of $1.28 million by 2020.
“We’re asking for additional money based on services currently provided,” said Superintendent Tim Dettwiller. “This isn’t going to be adding anything, just what we’re doing now.”
Board President Kelly Cooley was adamant that the levy pass, calling it “critical.”
In order to get it through, Dettwiller hopes to mobilize the community in favor of it.
“If the expectation is that myself or [Treasurer Todd Mustain] will go out and get this levy passed, it won’t pass,” he said. “That does not work. What works is when the community works to pass it. If I’m the one who has to be out in front, that means the community doesn’t have our back anyhow.”
He added that he will be working with everyone in the school, from the employee’s unions to parent teacher organizations, to campaign for it.
At the May board meeting, which is set to be rescheduled, Dettwiller will provide a plan to the board on how the campaign will be run.
Dettwiller also noted that other issues are still apparent, such as the school’s facilities. He recommended waiting until an operational levy passes before proceeding with anything beyond operations or renewing the Public Improvement levy.
Note: A previous article mentioned the levy being at $2.5 million. It is actually asking for $2.05 million. This was an error and has been corrected in the previous article.
Other business from Tuesday’s board of education meeting.
• The Latchkey program through ESC has been cancelled due to a lack of interest. Dettwiller told the board only 17 students had pre-registered.
The plan was for the program to be self-funding and in order for it to be affordable, 25 students needed to register.
• The board awarded a full diploma to Otis T. Miller, who was a World War II veteran who served with the Navy. He passed away on April 13 but was informed of his award before his passing. He was highly appreciative of the honor.
• Over the first week of May, the high school will be holding a special spirit week, in honor of “Decision Day,” which will celebrate outgoing seniors’ various paths after graduating high school, whether it is college, trade school or entering the work force. The school will also be encouraging younger students to look into career options and research what interests them.
• According to the district’s routine third-party financial audit, the district has adequate oversight and security measures to prevent theft in office.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, or on Twitter @msfkwiat.