Johnstown Independent

May 7 elections

Johnstown-Monroe levy paves way for improvements

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Johnstown-Monroe's 8.5-mill renewal levy appearing on the May 7 ballot is much more than just an operational levy.

The emergency measure would pave the way for the district to improve its facilities some time in the future via a bond issue.

The levy would renew one that expires at year's end and is expected to generate $2.2 million per year for four years, starting in 2015.

The levy is renewal to a 9.6-mill levy that was approved in 2009, so it is not an increase in taxes.

"This levy is the same thing the community's supported," Superintendent Thomas Slater said. "It's nothing new."

He said board members want to be sure the district is financially sound with basic operation before considering what to do about its overcrowded and aging facilities. In other words, this levy needs to pass before any improvements could be considered via a bond issue.

"There's a strong feeling with the board that they want to do something about facilities," Slater said. He said the board recently added two new members, who haven't had the opportunity yet to really "digest" information pertaining to facilities improvement, so nothing formal has been proposed, nor is any specific millage finalized to initiate facilities improvements.

"The renewal of the $2.2 million emergency levy is a continuation of the same level of funding to the district that was approved by voters in 2009," district treasurer Tammy Woods said. "The renewal provides the same $2.2 million in revenue and represents one-seventh of the district's total budget and one-sixth of the general-fund budget. The renewal will be for general-fund operating expenditures, including testing requirements, salaries, benefits, utilities, transportation, special-education services, classroom supplies, maintenance and custodial services, and classroom technology and software."

Licking County Deputy Auditor Cindy Haas said the 8.5-mill levy would continue to cost $260.13 annually for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

The other ballot measure in the Johnstown area is a 1-mill replacement levy for fire protection and emergency medical services in Hartford Township.

Uncontested races include Democratic and Republican picks for Licking County Municipal Court judge and Licking County Municipal court clerk.

ThisWeekNEWS.com will have live election coverage beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7.

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