ELIDA — An agreement has been reached between Elida schools and the Village of Elida over annexation and taxation issues brought about by the construction of a new elementary school.
Elida Village council members passed their side of the agreement at their meeting on April 14.
Under the agreement approved Tuesday night by the Elida Board of Education, the school board agreed to allow the annexation of the new elementary school property, and the Village of Elida agrees to a 10-year tax abatement. That means the staff and teachers working in the building won’t have to pay Elida Village income tax for a decade.
“Well, we think the agreement that we’ve reached is beneficial to both sides,” said Joel Mengerink, Elida schools superintendent. “We’re happy to have that finished and in the past and we appreciate the openness which we were able to communicate with the new mayor and the administration and we’re just happy to bring it to a conclusion, and now all of our attention is on the construction of the new building.”
Likewise, Elida mayor Claude Paxton believes it’s a win-win for both entities.
“I feel very good about it,” said Paxton. “It looks like it’s gonna be a good agreement for both of us. I do want to credit the previous Mayor Kim Hardy for the work that he did. I appreciate all the people that were involved in doing it. I’d say I’m very pleased with the work the staff has done on it to get it done, and I think it’s going to be a very good agreement from both sides.”
With the elementary building annexing into Elida it will mean lower water and sewer rates for the district.
The 10-year tax abatement gives teachers and staff some breathing room when it comes to absorbing the income tax.
“This gave them the comfort of mind knowing that they’ve got 10 years before any income taxes is deducted from their pay and with the mobility of employees nowadays we expect there to be a decent amount of turnover. Certainly, we hope a lot will stay but we feel after 10 years that the percent that are still being grandfathered in will be, or would still be grandfathered in, will be pretty small at that point,” said Mengerink.
Construction on the new elementary school is going as scheduled with students being allowed in the building in the fall of 2021.
Also during the meeting, board members discussed possibly ending the school year early. There is no decision on that, but the board may have to come back for a special session to approve any changes to the school year.
Board members also discussed the possibility of going to a pass/fail grading system for the fourth quarter. No decision was made on that either.
No firm plans have been made concerning graduation for seniors, as all options are under consideration.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.