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Pickerington takes ballot step
Pickerington Schools have taken a step to adding a 0.5-mill building maintenance levy onto the May ballot.
The action extends an existing levy passed in 1997 another 10 years and enables the district to qualify for up to $50 million of Ohio Schools Facilities Commission money for upgrade and maintenance work on all district school buildings.
This levy is currently in force, costing approximately $11 annually per $100,000 home value at current effective tax rates.
"This is a great deal for our community," Superintendent Karen Mantia said.
She pointed out that the maintenance is necessary and having state money pay for it benefits the district.
Board member Wes Monhollen also noted that the upgrades and improvements will benefit all schools, effectively removing the difference between "old" schools and "new" schools.
Restricted to upgrades and maintenance, the state's $50 million is not eligible to be used for other costs such as developing sports facilities.
Pickerington earned the $50 million because they passed a bond issue that raised approximately $50 million to build Pickerington North and Lakeview Junior High, and OSFC agreed to match the amount. However, OSFC will not pay until the district secures levy money to maintain all the buildings for 23 years.
The current levy falls 10 years short of the OSFC requirement. The resolution of necessity is the first step by the board to place the issue before voters.
A decision will be made at the next regular board meeting, Feb. 9, whether to put the issue on the May ballot.
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