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County board endorses district’s levy

County education leaders last week endorsed the Symmes Valley levy extension campaign.

Monday, November 06, 2000

County education leaders last week endorsed the Symmes Valley levy extension campaign.

"We support that bond levy out there because I tell you it’s going to be a great thing for the school district and kids," said Gerald Love, county board of education chairman.

Love and other members of the Lawrence County Educational Service Center board approved a resolution of support Oct. 30 for the Symmes Valley Local School District’s 1/2-mill maintenance extension levy.

The committee began campaigning for the levy in late summer, shortly after state officials notified the district that $3.8 million in renovation money was available if the district passed a maintenance levy.

The high school building is almost 40 years old and needs to be upgraded with a new cafeteria, new library and classrooms, supporters said.

Symmes Valley has to match with $83,000, which can come from its own budget, officials said.

The district currently has 6.1 mills levied, with a 1/2 mill of that for maintenance. Those levies will mature in 2013. A 1/2 mill maintenance levy would become an extension of the previous maintenance levy, beginning in 2014 and extending to 2023.

"We look at everything you can think of, run the numbers," Love said. "It’s really a good idea."

County board members were all in agreement that the levy extension will cost taxpayers little when compared to the millions of benefits that will come into the district, Love added.

"These things come around just once in awhile," he said. "After the election, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You might have to wait four more years for the chance to get such state money."

If the district had to wait, it most likely would have to spend more funds to maintain the high school – and expenses keep going up every year, Love said.

"This will lower expenses," he said.

Support so far seems good, with the crowds out Saturday for the annual school fair enthusiastic about the levy campaign, Love said.

"I have heard no negative response," he said. "It will improve the schools, there will be more room, a better facility and it’s going to be good for the kids."