PIQUA — The Piqua City School district is asking voters on Nov. 7 to renew a five-year operating levy that has been in place since 2003. Echoing the words of George H.W. Bush, Superintendent Dwayne Thompson emphasized that, if passed, the levy will bring “no new taxes.”
The levy, which was renewed in 2008 and 2013, would generate $2.1 million of the current district operating budget.
Renewal of the operating levy helps the district to maintain the current funding levels with a zero school district revenue increase. Funds are earmarked for daily operating expenses to run the district. These expenses include classrooms; transportation expenses; utilities; building/grounds cleaning, repairs and maintenance; supplies/materials; staff; and student programs and opportunities.
“These funds are crucial to maintain the stability that we have,” Thompson said, adding that, “Not one dollar goes to Columbus or Washington — it’s important that we point that out.”
Board Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jeremie Hittle added that the renewal is not about increasing taxes, but rather “maintaining strong and conservative finances, as well as continuing to provide our students with the services they need for their success.”
As encouragement to residents to vote in favor of the levy, Thompson said the district has proven they are “good stewards of tax dollars” by either saving or securing money via numerous projects, including:
• Rebidding property liability insurance, saving $200,000 annually
• Refinancing Piqua Junior High School, saving $1 million of taxpayer dollars. In addition, the district will pay off this bond one year early in 2019.
• Replacing the 30-year-old track at Alexander Stadium with Premier Health partnership funds, saving $619,586
• Securing an EPA grant to support the purchase of four buses, saving $178,258
• Securing Straight A Grants for Technology, totaling nearly $1.8 million
• Teacher-written grants of $41,000 for Fiscal Year 2017 to support student programming.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341