SciotoTech asks voters for renewal levy

By Ryan Ottney

October 25, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech) in Lucasville is asking for public support of their renewal levy on the November ballot. Superintendent Stan Jennings stressed this is a renewal only, and not a new or increased tax. In fact, he said, because of the changing housing market the collection amount is actually less than it was five years ago when it was last renewed.

“We are seeing more people at this school now than we have ever seen. Even when it was a career college, a tech school and a high school,” Jennings said. “Whenever you look at the total population base of who’s affected by this school and by the things that we’re doing, we are up this year 22 percent over last year’s enrollment. We’ve maintained our post secondary enrollment, which about five or six years ago increased four times. We have both of those things going for us, plus our satellite program has sky-rocketted.”

He said the school’s Project Lead the Way pre-engineering program has impacted more than 1,100 students in the last five years.

Jennings said the 1.0 mil permanent improvement levy has been on the books in Scioto County for more than 20 years — when it was still called the “Joint Vocational School” — and has to be renewed every five years. A mil is measured as 10-cents for every $100 of property value. For a homeowner with property valued at $25,000, the cost would be $4.28 a year; and for a homeowner with property valued at $100,000, the cost would be $17.10 a year. Because property values have dropped since the levy was last renewed five years ago, the collection is actually less than it was last time — when a homeowner with $100,000 property paid $18.35 a year.

The money collected in this levy can only be used to construct, add to, or repair buildings and equipment. It cannot be used for operating costs such as wages, utilities, and insurance.

“We have a 43-year-old building, although we think it looks pretty nice. A lot better than a 43-year-old building. But things such as replacing pipes, and things like that, are things that we used that money for,” Jennings said. “When you look at the plaque on the wall that says 1971, I would challenge anyone to look down our hallways and say this building is 43-years-old.”

Some of the work planned with this money includes paving and adding a new parking lot, and continuing to upgrade and expand services.

“The rest of it will be used for finalization of our renovation from a few years ago. The state, during that process, required that you put money aside for maintenance. So every year we have to put $150,000 aside. This would finalize that and it would be something else we didn’t have to take out of the general fund,” Jennings said.

He said SciotoTech has always been good stewards of the public’s money, impacting not only the lives of their students but the lives of many in the entire community.

“We participate. If this headstone needs fixed in a cemetery, we fix that. If somebody needs a dugout built, we try to do that. Those kind of things are things we think give back. And obviously our kids get practical experience in that as well,” Jennings said.

The Scioto County Career Technical Center’s renewal levy will be asked before voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.