Pickerington Local School District voters will determine the fate of a proposed 3-mill permanent-improvements levy Tuesday, May 2.

District officials said the issue would generate $3.6 million annually for maintenance of current facilities, technology infrastructure, safety and security improvements and upgrades to district athletics facilities.

The levy would establish a permanent annual tax for the district.

The levy would cost property owners $105 annually per $100,000 of valuation, according to the Fairfield County Auditor's Office.

District officials said they have identified $22.7 million in improvements that will be needed at Pickerington's 14 schools during the next 10 to 15 years.

Those projects include $8 million for paving, $7.8 million for mechanical systems, $3.25 million for roofing, $1.7 million for technology infrastructure, $1.1 million for painting and carpeting and $860,000 for safety and security.

The district also has plans to use revenue from the levy for athletics facilities projects that would include building a new stadium with artificial turf and an eight-lane track at Pickerington High School Central, installing artificial turf and other improvements in the Pickerington High School North stadium and providing playground maintenance at all schools.

The levy is supported by Vote for Pick Kids, a group that says the levy would provide a permanent revenue stream for upgrades and reduce the need to pay for them with an average of $1 million annually from its general operating fund.

The group also has said upgraded athletics facilities would put Pickerington on par with other central Ohio school districts and provide additional opportunities for holding revenue-generating events.

The levy has been opposed by some in the community who don't support a permanent tax, and who say the district should identify specific projects to be funded by a levy that would be collected for a finite period.

Opponents also said they believe projects such as athletic facilities upgrades are wants and not necessities.

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