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CCC moves forward to put levy on ballot

Half-mill hike would fund renovation project


Thinking ahead to next year, Collins Career Center has taken the first step to getting a levy on the ballot for the March 2012 primary.

Wednesday, the CCC board of directors met for a special meeting to pass a resolution to take the proposed half-mill levy to the county auditor to have it added to the ballot.

The levy, superintendent Steve Dodgion said, would help get the school’s renovation project off the ground, which would improve the school’s infrastructure.

“We have embarked on a $22 million renovation project through Ohio Schools Facilities Commission,” said Dodgion. “We have a requirement by the facilities commission that we set aside two percent of our insured value for 23 years. That comes to $225,000 a year we must set aside to maintain the facility once the renovations are complete.”

If the levy passes, it would bring in about $300,000 annually to cover that cost. Taxpayers would pay about $7.30 a year based on tax property value of $50,000.

“It’s important for the voters to know that the half-mill levy was on the books for 20 years,” Dodgion said of the levy that lapsed two years ago. “We are asking for the voters to give us that half-mill back to allow us to embark on this renovation.”

The levy money would only be allowed to go towards capital improvements, Dodgion said.

The renovation project would include improvements to the heating system, plumbing and electrical wiring.

“The school was built in the early 1970s,” Dodgion said. “All that stuff is 40 years old.”

The school will also expand by 11,000 square-feet, and addition that is mandated by the facilities commission based on the number of students at the school.

“Our classrooms right now are about 550 square-feet,” Dodgion said. “When we’re finished, they will be about 855 square-feet, a number that is mandated by the state facilities commission.”

Dodgion said bids for the project would go out in January with ground breaking in early spring.

The levy was originally intended to be on the November ballot but was postponed as to not compete with the senior levy, which narrowly missed a majority vote Tuesday.

Dodgion and the board members said they hope the levy would pass because the school has been an instrumental part of the county.

“People have had the opportunity to come to the Collins Career Center to learn a new trade so they can continue being responsible for their family and in the community,” board member Ray Malone said. “And if it wasn’t for that, there would be a big sinkhole and it would be very difficult for the people in this county.”

“We are very confident that the career center has reached enough lives in this county that we trust that the citizens of the county will grant us this request as they have for 20 years in the past,” Dodgion said.