Levy renewal could make or break improvement projects in local school district

Local News

VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters in the Mathews Local School District are being asked to renew a 5-year levy for the school district.

The levy has dropped in millage from 4.35 to 3.85 due to a rise in property values. If it passes, taxpayers will go from paying $133 a year to $117 a year.

School officials say the district has expenses that rely on money generated from the levy. The levy’s passage would allow the district to keep its current staffing levels and programming while continuing to live within its means.

“We only want to keep our programming going and making the best school situation for students. We don’t want to cut down to the bare bones for our kids who deserve as much as we can give them,” said Superintendent Russell McQuaide.

The levy generates $680,000 dollars a year for things like employee salaries, maintenance and supplies.

The school board has decided to move forward with several improvement projects. Members passed a resolution of intent earlier this week on two projects. The first is roughly $800,000 to upgrade the lights, sound system, and bleachers at the football stadium.

The project will be paid for through dollars generated from the permanent improvement levy fund. Another $1.8 million will be put towards proposed improvements to Baker Elementary, including the heating and air conditioning system, asbestos removal, and other building improvements. McQuaide said money for those upgrades will come from grants and the American Rescue Plan.

“We want to keep doing improvement projects like we’re setting out to do for this cycle coming up in the summer,” McQuaide said.

McQuaide says if the renewal levy fails in November, the financial loss could put the breaks on improvement projects in the future.

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