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Woodridge renewal levy on May ballot

4/3/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

PENINSULA — The renewal levy on the May 6 Primary Election ballot accounts for nearly a quarter of the Woodridge Local School District’s funding, according to district officials.

Superintendent Walter Davis said Issue No. 8 represents about 23 percent of the district’s budget, bringing in $5.27 million for operating expenses.

“It’s critical,” Davis said.

Voters approved the 10.87-mill levy five years ago. At that time, two separate levies were combined into one to reduce the frequency of the district going on the ballot, Davis said.

The levy costs property owners in the district $332 per year for every $100,000 in assessed value, according to district Treasurer Deanna Levenger, and since it is a renewal, it will continue to collect that amount.

“It’s not a new tax,” Davis said. “It is our general operating fund, so it’s for the typical everyday expenses of the school district, such as salaries, benefits, purchased services, utilities, gas, electric, water — all that stuff.”

The district opted to go with a 10-year levy for a couple of reasons. Davis said district officials want to have its levies spaced so that voters are not being asked to approve a levy very often.

The levy could have been put on to be a continuing levy — meaning that it would not expire — but Davis said officials thought it’s a good idea to let voters have a say in their district’s funding.

“We think our voters like to have the opportunity to be heard,” he said.

A committee headed up by former Woodridge school board member Jeff McHugh and Scott Karlo is in place to promote the levy, Davis said. There will be signs, and a mailer sent out to residents, he added. A website, www.supportwoodridge.com, also is expected to be operational soon.

The current levy expires this year, so if the ballot issue doesn’t pass next month, Davis said there are other opportunities this year for passage.

“We’ll be back,” he said. “It’s almost 23 percent, so we can’t afford for it not to be renewed. The board would have to consider the best time, August or November, to put it on the ballot again.”

Davis said he would be on hand at the next Coffee with the Superintendent event April 16 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the district’s administrative offices, 4411 Quick Road, to answer questions about the levy.

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