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Give SV students school they need

Ten years ago, Symmes Valley voters made county history.

Saturday, October 28, 2000

Ten years ago, Symmes Valley voters made county history. More than 80 percent of voters approved adding a few extra dollars to their tax bills to give their children and grandchildren a better place to go to school.

If you travel to the district today, Symmes Valley Multi-Level stands proud and tall, a testament to a community that cared enough to sacrifice to make sure its children got the education they deserve.

Times were tough then, too. A lot of people felt that the Symmes Valley levy didn’t have a chance. School building assistance was new then, and no one was sure how voters would feel about increasing their taxes – no matter what the benefit.

But those worries were unfounded. Symmes Valley voters saw the need, recognized the benefits and didn’t just talk about a better future for their children. They made it happen.

They were the trendsetters – the first in the county to approve a levy for such a project – and the community that paved the way for subsequent approvals across the county of similar levies. None of those other levies passed with such a commanding margin.

Tuesday, they will have that chance again.

This year’s decision for a Symmes Valley levy is even less complicated. The new measure will only add a half-mill to homeowners’ tax burden and will not even be charged until 2014 – a year after the 6.1-mill levy that built the multi-level school expires. That means voters will lose 6.1 mills of taxes and replace them with only a half-mill, 14 years from now.

And, in exchange for this small commitment, the State of Ohio will give the district the money it needs to renovate and expand the high school up to the same high standard as the multi-level.

Symmes Valley voters proved once that they could see beyond the immediate burden to the long-term benefit, and that they were prepared to take care of their children, no matter what they cost.

Now, all they have to do is do it again.