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Untied counts the ways levy helps

September 2, 2013
By KEVIN HOWELL - Staff Writer (khowell@salemnews.net) , Morning Journal News

HANOVERTON- With a little more than two months remaining until the Nov. 5 election, the United Local administration is working to clarify the permanent improvement levy residents will see on the ballot.

The school board is pursuing a 3-mill continuous permanent improvement levy to generate $376,700 annually, to be used for projects that extend the life of the item - such as boilers, windows and roofs - by five years.

Superintendent Steve Viscounte said if the proposed levy passes, the board will let expire the current five-year levy that generates $167,000. As a result taxes will increase less than it appears, he said, with the net increase in annual funds $200,000 instead of the total listed on the ballot.

According to information provided by Viscounte, the new levy ($376,700 annual) minus the current levy ($176,000 annual) marks an increase of $200,000 in annual funds. Owners of a $100,000 home will see a $65.11 annual increase in taxes.

But the ultimate goal is to add the flexibility to borrow long-term for larger projects, Viscounte said.

"It's not a great increase (in annual funds), but it affords us the ability to take out long-term loans, which we can't do currently," he said. "It gives us an option to address needs that right now we can't (meet)."

Viscounte said the administration and school board are looking at projects that include energy-efficient window replacements (four years to replace), bus purchases (two per year for six years), online textbooks, roof replacement, boiler replacement, technology upgrades and classroom renovations- large expenses that will require more funds to address them. Permanent improvement money cannot be used for salaries and benefits.

Viscounte also reminded residents that the visitor bleachers at the stadium had been condemned and had to be replaced.

 
 

 

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