SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters have approved a bond issue and tax levy for the Salem City School District.
According to unofficial returns, just over 57% of voters cast their votes in favor of it.
“To have that kind of support from our folks is just overwhelming,” said Salem Superintendent Shawn Kirkland. “Just ecstatic for the community, ecstatic for the town, for the kids, just very thankful for everybody coming out and for every single ‘yes’ vote that we received.”
Funding from the levy would create a central K-through-8 school on property the district already owns near Southeast Elementary. Buckeye and Reilly elementary schools would be torn down.
It was the community’s last chance to get state funding after the levy failed in May.
Salem will get $37.9 million in state money. The school would be paid for with that money, plus $10 million from the Salem Community Foundation.
The combined funding means homeowners pay $8.8 million. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay $96 per year.
It is expected to take about four years to complete the new school.
Meanwhile, voters overwhelmingly rejected bond issues in Canfield and Poland. Knoll said he believes Salem had a unique situation, as opposed to districts like Canfield and Poland, because the district was getting more funding from the state, as well as the donation from the Community Foundation of Salem.
“So when you put those two things together, the remaining $60 million initiative, so what’s left is about $12.5 million, and of that $12.5 million, to the private citizen, it’s only about $8.8 million, so that’s significantly less than either one of those communities. On a $100,000 valuation of property, it came to about $8 a month,” Knoll said. “So when you’re looking at that as opposed to what those two communities had to try to pass, I think that’s just significantly lower and probably why we had the success we did.”