The Canal Winchester Times

Canal Winchester school levy

Supporters plan education night, literature drop

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Members of the Canal Winchester school levy campaign committee are trying to make each second count to get enough "yes" voters out May 6 to pass a five-year, $5.83-million substitute emergency renewal levy.

The current $5.83-million emergency levy will expire Dec. 31.

The committee will hold a Levy Education Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, at the Oley Speaks Auditorium, 100 Washington St. to discuss the campaign and answer questions.

Campaign workers and district officials also will be attending local events and pounding the pavement, going door-to-door in neighborhoods, during the last two weeks before the election to drop off information, but they will not be knocking on doors.

"We are respectful of people and their time," campaign Chairwoman Lachandra Baker said.

"We will target areas that typically vote yes. We can hope that if they have questions, they will contact the school for facts instead of listening to rumors."

In addition to the neighborhood campaign, the committee will make phone calls to remind people to vote.

"We are busy answering questions so people can make an informed and educated vote on May 6," Baker said.

She said the committee's goal is to make sure that all "yes" voters make it to the polls on May 6.

"It is extremely important that everyone who is a yes makes it to the polls," she said. "Historically, our school levies pass or fail by less than 50 votes. The renewal in May 2011 failed simply because 'yes' voters thought it would pass and some did not cast a ballot."

Baker said the campaign team wants to make sure the community knows this is a substitute renewal levy and not a new tax.

According to the school system's five-year financial forecast, if the renewal levy is not approved, Canal Winchester schools face a $5.3-million deficit by June 30, 2017 and $13.9-million deficit by June 30, 2018.

If the current emergency levy expires without being renewed, the district would no longer have the ability to take advantage of the state continuing to pay a 12.5-percent rollback, according to Treasurer Joyce Boyer.

As a result, Boyer said, taxpayers would have to pay the full $5.83 million instead of the approximately $5,101,250 that they are currently paying if a levy is sought after the current one expires.

"The district and board of education had the community in mind when they decided to ask for a renewal instead of new money," Baker said.

"A renewal is the only way to keep the 12.5-percent rollback in place from the state, saving taxpayers dollars."

Baker said residents can check out the district's website, cwschools.org, or can contact staff members to have their questions answered before going to the polls.

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