LIMA — A Shawnee school levy whose fate will be decided by voters on Nov. 6 will allow the district officials to achieve a balanced budget and also pay for security measures, said James Kanable, Shawnee schools superintendent.
The 10-year, 4.482-mill additional will fund emergency requirements such as two school resource officers for the district and mental health services.
“We are facing some things right now that our counselors are not trained fully to respond to our interact with,” said Kanable. “It gives us a little bit of an extra balance to bring additional resources to help our kids.”
In addition to mental health services, Kanable said SROs will be a great asset to the district as it will protect the children while they are at school.
“Unfortunately we have seen a drastic rise of incidents that have occurred in schools throughout our nation,” said Kanable. “Every time one of those events happens it heightens the anxiety of our parents when they send their children out of their safe homes to school. This action is just meant to give a little bit of safety, security and ease to those families when they send them to us on a daily basis.”
Right now the district is operating at close to $1.9 million with a $2 million deficit every year, said Kanable.
“This negative spending has been going on in the district since about 2010 and it can be traced back to the taxation law change that eliminated and drastically reduced the tangible personal property taxes that went to local school districts.
“During the time of the taxation law the board of education made cuts to the art, music and physical education programs at the elementary schools. Since then the district has regained those programs, but its cash reserve is dwindling.
“The board has made a conscious decision to go to the voters before it has a drastic impact on the district,” said Kanable. “We are trying to be very proactive here by asking for the money at this time. I appreciate the board’s willingness to be this bold and up front with our community and sharing what our needs and concerns are at an appropriate time.”
Besides the Shawnee schools 4.482 mill additional, other items on the ballot include:
• Elida schools has a 5-year, 1 mill renewal for permanent improvements.
• Shawnee schools has a 5-year, 4.113 mill renewal for emergency requirements.
• Perry schools has a 5-year, 3.482 mill renewal to avoid an operating deficit.
• Jackson Township has a 5-year, 0.75 mill renewal for fire and emergency services.
• Perry Township has a 5-year, 0.5 mill renewal for fire and emergency services.
• Cairo has a 5-year, 2.5 mill renewal for current operating expenses.
Fat Jack’s and Sportscasters Bar and Patio are also requesting liquor licenses:
• Fat Jack’s 1806 N. West St. is requesting Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.
• Fat Jack’s on 1801 Findlay Road is requesting Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages.
• Sportscasters Bar and Patio is requesting Sunday sales of spirituous liquor.
There are six county candidates that are running unopposed which include Allen County Commissioner Greg Sneary (R), Auditor Rachael Gilroy (R), Sheriff Matthew Treglia (R) Coroner John Meyer (R), Treasurer Evalyn Shaffner (R) and Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser (R).
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews