By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
FRANKLIN FURNACE — The Scioto County Board of Elections this week approved a request by the Green Local School District to conduct a special election Aug. 7 to give the district another shot at passing a 7-mill levy for emergency operations. The levy failed in the spring election by a margin of 24 votes.
The estimated cost of the special election — $21,804.78 — will be paid by the school district. Teresa Knittel, from the Board of Elections, said it might cost less if the Board creates its own databases and if other issues are also sought for that ballot.
The measure amounts to $475,000 property tax levy, which Green Superintendent Sandy Mers said would help avoid further cuts to an already thinning school district. She said 17.5 positions have already been eliminated through attrition since 2006.
The district has had some difficulty winning over voters in past elections. They last attempted to pass this same emergency levy during the March election, and failed by a 684-660 vote. They also failed to pass a separate $1 million general operations levy in November 2010 by a 1,039-442 vote.
Mers hopes this time will find better results.
“I think our community meetings were good, and we’re going to continue that. I think open communication is imperative for this,” she said. “We are going to have a larger grass-roots ground campaign. That will be the only thing that’s different.”
If the district does fail to pass in August, they still have an opportunity to try again in the November general election. When asked why the district doesn’t just wait until November and avoid the cost of a special election, Mers replied, “We are in dire need of this operation levy.”
According to the district, if the emergency levy passes in August, the tax bill of a local property valued at $200,000 will cost an extra $490 each year — or $1.34 a day, while a property valued at $25,000 will cost an extra $61.25 each year — or 17 cents a day.
The district received the banner from the Ohio Department of Education in February for earning an “Excellent” rating on the 2010-11 ODE district report card, meeting 20 of 26 total state indicators and earning a 96.4 performance index score.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.