CENTERBURG — The Centerburg school board on Monday voted to ask residents in November to renew a 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy.
Permanent improvement funds are used to repair, improve or remodel buildings and grounds; purchase motor vehicles, furnish school buildings and buy textbooks and equipment, such as computers, which has a life-expectancy of more than five years.
Treasurer Ellen Scott said the levy raises a relatively small amount of money, about $76,000 a year, but is very useful to the district. To avoid the costs of placing the issue on the ballot every five years, which has been done since initial passage in the 1980s, Scott said the board this time is asking voters to approve it on a continuing basis. It has been consistently renewed by the electorate since the ’80s. Originally passed at 1.5 mills, the effective rate is now approximately .66 mills, which comes to roughly $22 a year for someone with a $100,000 home.
With regard to operating expenses, Scott told the News on Tuesday, “We’re doing a good job here.” Overall expenditures are down 3.46 percent, she said, adding that is excellent considering the rising costs of things such as utilities and insurance. She said salaries are down 7.3 percent, or about $390,000 due to cutting some programs, attrition and replacing veteran retirees with teachers with less experience.
In addition to approving the tax issue, the board approved routine fiscal actions and accepted the donation of $100 from Bill Shuff and $100 from Judith Shuff to FFA. It also renewed liability, violence, auto and property insurance with the Ohio School Plan for an annual premium of $36,149. Scott said that is a slight increase over last year’s rate.