Johnstown Independent

Johnstown-Monroe emergency levy passes

Sixty-five percent of voters said yes to renewing an 8.5-mill property tax for five years, according to final, unofficial returns from the Licking County Board of Elections.

The board's results show the levy passing 852 votes to 451. In Delaware County, six voters weighed in on the Johnstown-Monroe levy, with two supporting it and four rejecting it.

The levy will raise $2.2 million a year for operating the district and cost homeowners $260 a year per $100,000 of home value, about $3 more than they are paying now.

The money is to keep Johnstown-Monroe in the black through 2019.

The financial security will allow the district to concentrate on another problem — overcrowding. The district is operating at 60 percent above capacity and hasn’t built a building in more than 40 years. Interim Superintendent Tom Slater said he expects the district to seek a bond issue next spring to raise money to overhaul the schools.

"Based on our current situation, this should put us in pretty good financial shape,” Slater said. “But when you’re operating old buildings as we are, you never know when you’re going to have to spend unexpectedly. We can’t build these new buildings fast enough.”

— Eric Lyttle/Dispatch