Springfield Local gives voters another run at bond issue

NEW MIDDLETOWN – A 2.5-mill bond issue will pay for the construction of a new elementary building for the Springfield Local School District if passed on May 7.

The bond is expected to generate $6.4 million over 37 years, with the half-mill going toward maintenance costs.

It is the fifth time the Mahoning County district has put the tax before voters since 2003. It was defeated by 400 votes at the November 2012 election.

Karen Datillo, bond committee member and parent of an elementary student, said the levy is needed for the construction and maintenance of a new K-3 building near the high school and intermediate schools.

The current elementary building is on state Route 170 about two miles away from the other schools.

She said the plan is not yet “set in stone” but it seems to make the “most sense logistically” to move the building closer to the upper grade schools.

A new building is needed because the current one is 90 years old and has “serious” plumbing issues, she added.

Constructed in 1923, the building was last renovated in 1989.

“The state came in through a program and basically said it’s not worth it to fix it because it’s so old. The core of the building, the plumbing and heating is based on that 1923 infrastructure,” she said.

If passed, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $6.33 a month on the bond.

Datillo said voters may think the cost outweighs the benefits of a new building, but she disagrees. “I think once they hear the facts, once they realize that 2.5 mills translates to about $6.33 a month for a $100,000 home, the investment in the community far supersedes any of the cost.”

Voters are encouraged to tour the current building prior to the election.

“I think if you ask anybody who is there on a day to day basis the plumbing is a serious issue and there is some obvious water damage to the roof. We aren’t going from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5, we are asking to go from a rotary phone to a cordless,” she said.

The bond committee is working on developing a website with more information for voters in the future, she added.