Collins board postpones levy

Published 10:03 am Thursday, July 28, 2011

GETAWAY — The anticipated Collins Career Center levy won’t go before the voters this November as the school’s board of education pulled back, not wanting to compete with another levy expected to go on the ballot this fall.

At its regular meeting Monday the Collins board decided to postpone their levy until next May.

“We don’t feel comfortable being on the ballot and competing with the senior citizens (levy),” Collins superintendent Steve Dodgion said. “We need our levy … but the senior citizens are desperate.”

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This past Thursday members of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization went before the county commissioners about the need for a levy to support countywide senior programs.

The CAO wants a 1-mil property tax levy that is expected to bring in $810,000 a year.

The levy would fund at least five projects: senior medical transportation at $125,000; home meals expansion at $150,000; congregate meals at sites at $150,000; senior and para transit transportation at $210,000 and home health care at $75,000.

The 1-mil levy for five years is expected to cost $35 annually on a tax property value of $100,000. That would be $2.92 a month, supporters say.

The Collins levy would be a half-mil levy expected to cost taxpayers $15 a year for a tax property valuation of $100,000. It is expected to bring in $402,706 a year for five years.

Those funds are needed for a proposed $22 million expansion and renovation of the Getaway campus.

Most of the project’s cost will come from the Ohio School Facilities Commission with the school district putting up the remaining 25 percent.

However, to gain state funding the school must put aside two percent of the insured value of the project for the next 23 years for maintenance. School officials want that money to come from the levy.

“The maintenance set aside has to be in place during construction,” Dodgion said.

“Our construction groundbreaking won’t be until spring. Our maintenance won’t have to be in place until next year. Our intention is to run the levy during the primary. My board and I have been in discussion in the last meeting. We feel this is the right thing to do for the county senior citizens. That agency is desperate for that levy.”