Elida, other school levies pass

First Posted: 5/5/2015

ELIDA — On election night, schools within the region were able to take a collective sigh of relief.

Most schools, on the ballot for a renewal levy, found support from its community and voters as levys continued to pass throughout the night.

For example, Elida schools, which has struggled with levys in the past, had a renewal 7.33 mill levy pass. School treasurer Joel Parker and Superintendent Tony Cox were thrilled.

“We’re thrilled Elida voters have continued to support what we’re doing,” Parker said. “With the levy, we’ll be able to continue to run a sufficient ship. … Now we can all take a deep breath and get back to focusing on the education of our students.”

Cox said the funds raised from the renewal, which generates about $2.7 million a year, will help the district continue to fund and sustain about 45 teaching jobs.

“We got great news tonight,” Cox said. “It’s great the Elida community came out to support students and staff today.”

Because the levy was a renewal, originally passed in 2010, it will not raise taxes and homeowners will be able to qualify for homestead and rollback tax exemptions.

For these reasons, Elida resident and voter Kathy Hatcher supported the district’s levy when casting her vote Tuesday. As a homeowner for 20 years in Elida, she knew it wouldn’t raise her taxes and understood the school “needed the funds because of so much that’s already been cut,” she said. “Really, that’s all you can say about that.”

Diane Gallaher, also an Elida resident for almost 40 years, similarly understood how important the levy was for the district after casting her vote supporting the renewal.

“They count on that money and they can’t lose it,” she said. “They also lost so much and without the renewal they could stand to lose so much more and have to make more cuts.”

Gallaher and Hatcher said from their observations, most people in the area were in support of the renewal, too.

“As long as they understand it won’t raise their taxes, it’ll be fine,” Hatcher said.

Also on the ballot Tuesday night, Hardin County’s Ridgemont schools passed its renewal 0.75 percent income tax, originally passed in 2010, which is expected to generate about $436,000 to help cover the district’s $5.89 million in operating costs.

New Bremen school’s renewal 1 mill levy also passed, continuing its 45-year stint in the area.

Able to sustain their current budgets for their respective district for the time being, schools must now wait to see the final state budget as they close out the school year and prepare for the upcoming 2015-16 year.

“Now, we’re just focusing on finishing the year on a positive note,” Cox said.

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