The Canal Winchester Board of Education took the final step needed last week to place a renewal levy on the May ballot.

Board members unanimously approved a "Resolution Declaring the Intent to Proceed" Dec. 17 for a five-year, $6.2 million levy that district officials say would not increase property owners' taxes. If approved, it would expire Dec. 31, 2019.

The last time voters approved a renewal levy was in 2014.

Superintendent Jim Sotlar said in November the levy would help guarantee the district financial stability.

"We haven't asked for new money since 2009, so it is a renewal. I hope everyone understands that we are not asking for any new school monies," Sotlar said.

Treasurer Nick Roberts said that for a home valued at $100,000, property owners would pay about $440.65 per year, which is less than they are paying for the current levy because of an increase in property values.

"When it was renewed in 2014, it was $511, so it is down almost $70," Roberts said.

His review of the district's five-year financial forecast in October indicated that if the levy is not renewed, the district could face a budget shortfall of $1 million in fiscal year 2020. Roberts said that would increase to $5.5 million in 2021; $7.1 million in 2022 and $9.4 million in 2023.

"If we let this levy expire, we're going to need more money later, most likely, because we're going to eat into our savings or cash balance," Roberts said.

"I expect with the passage of the levy, we are not going to need more money in that next 10-year period," he said. "Without it, we'll be coming back more often probably for more money."

The levy, combined with funding from the state budget and the district's "managing of expenses" have helped Canal Winchester schools remain on solid financial ground, Roberts said.

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNews