Delaware News

Delaware City Schools

Improvement levy renewal expected on fall ballot

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Delaware City School District taxpayers will see a levy renewal option on the ballot in November.

In 1989, voters passed a 3-mill permanent improvement levy.

The levy has been renewed four times, with the latest renewal in 2009, and will be going before voters for a fifth approval.

According to Superintendent Paul Craft, the district is planning to ask for a straight renewal with no new tax collections.

Although the levy is only being collected at a 1.9-mill rate, the district will not be asking voters to increase the rate up to the original level of 3-mill from when it was first passed in 1989.

"The millage rate decreases as more (tax-paying) buildings are built," Craft said."We are collecting the same amount of money that we started collecting in 1989, even though prices continue to go up."

"However, we believe it's the right thing to do to not raise costs for our taxpayers."

Craft said he believes this is a great message to taxpayers.

"None of this money can go toward salaries or short-term items," he said.

"This money goes to maintaining our base of educational materials that keep our students warm, dry and safe," Craft said.

The funds are used to purchase computers and school buses, and for things such as roof repairs and building improvements.

"We have to purchase two or three buses every year, and that is not a cheap purchase," Craft said. "We also have to purchase new computers every five to seven years," he said. "This money pays for those things."

Craft said district leaders do not take anything for granted because they know they have a responsibility to explain to the taxpayers exactly how every dollar they receive will be spent.

"We have made promises about what we will use this money for and we've kept those promises," he said.

"We continue to provide a great education for our students that's sustainable to our taxpayers," Craft said.

The board still has to make a motion to request levy renewal be placed on the ballot.

They will be having a formal discussion at April board meetings and are expected to take the final action in May.

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