Southeastern school levy headed for fall ballot


(Posted June 1, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Southeastern Local Schools will be on the ballot in November, asking voters to renew a 3-mill, five-year property tax for permanent improvements.

The levy generates approximately $230,000 a year. If passed, the renewal will be based on valuations in 2015 with tax collection starting in 2016. Permanent improvement funds are spent on items or improvements that will last three years or more, such as equipment, books and building renovations. This particular levy does not include bus purchases.

In May, the school board passed the first of two pieces of legislation required to put a tax issue on the ballot. The first resolution declares the necessity for the levy, which then goes to the county auditor. The board will vote on the second resolution, which sets the official ballot language, at their June 17 meeting set for 6 p.m.

The board plans to hold a work session this summer for strategic financial planning, including how to use permanent improvement funds in the future. A date and time will be announced at a later date.

In November 2010, the school district asked for a bond issue to build new schools. The issue failed at the ballot box. Since then, the district has put all of its permanent improvement money into its existing buildings.

Among the improvements made in the last two years are: exterior masonry work at both schools; window projects; roofing projects at both schools; upgraded radio communications as mandated by the state; a new controlled heating system at Miami View; new computers at the high school; new cafeteria equipment at the high school; dampers installed in the high school gym; a new mower and a new cleaning/maintenance machine; and plaster repairs at the high school.

The district is in the process of installing two new boilers at the high school, as well as working on a ventilation project in the gym. Also on the to-do list for this summer are painting at Miami View, replacing carpet in many rooms at Miami View and in the band room at the high school, repairs to the auditorium and additional technology purchases. The track will be resurfaced in the near future, according to Brad McKee, district treasurer.

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