PIQUA — Piqua City Schools Superintendent Dwayne Thompson presented details of an upcoming Permanent Improvement (PI) levy to the board of education during their monthly meeting on Thursday, and answered questions that might be posed by local voters.
“The misconception when people see ‘levy’ is that it means ‘more taxes,’” Thompson said, noting that while the district is asking for additional millage, the levy will actually decrease taxes.
The current millage stands at 4.0, with 2.2 mills going to renovations at Piqua Junior High School, and 1.8 to the PI levy. Under the proposed plan, the 2.2 mills would be eliminated, and 1.2 mills added for renovations to the high school, for a total of 3.0 mills.
“We have not historically asked for more than we need,” Thompson said.
“It’s not often that you get work done and reduce taxes at the same time,” Chief Financial Officer Jeremie Hittle pointed out.
For residents wondering what the funds from the PI levy would be used for, Thompson outlined it thusly: $678,946 in annual PI funds would be generated, minus $200,000 for annual bus purchases and $315,411 for the high school HVAC system, leaving $165,505 for maintenance and safety work.
Examples of recent maintenance and safety work in the district includes the ongoing roof replacement project at the high school; replacing original student furniture; replacing fire alarm systems; renovating front entries at the high school and junior high for safety purposes; and making drinking fountains ADA-compliant.
Thompson said that if the levy is not passed, “We’re going to have bigger, more costly problems later on,” and emphasized that the renovations to the 40-year-old high school and 20-year-old junior high are not merely cosmetic.
Residents who have questions about the PI levy are encouraged to visit the Citizens for Quality Piqua Schools website at www.cfqps.org. Thompson and Hittle also can be reached at 773-4321 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Board of Education President Andy Hite can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other business, the board discussed the ongoing replacement of the high school gymnasium roof, which is suffering from severe leaking issues. During periods of rain and snow, water has begun leaching through the roof membrane, said Mark Schmitz of Kramer Roofing, and there is concern about damage being done to the original wood of the gym floor.
The board agreed that the time has passed for resorting to temporary fixes, and approved an emergency resolution for the replacement to be done by Kramer Roofing, without putting the project out to bid, at a cost of $269,212, according to Hittle.
The gymnasium will still be operational during the work, which is expected to begin in about two weeks, weather permitting, and projected to be done by late April.
The board of education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at the board office, located at 215 Looney Road. BOE meetings can be viewed online at www.piqua.org/Boxcast.aspx.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341 or email@example.com