Genoa schools: 2 levies on Nov. 3 ballot

Larry Limpf

The Genoa Area Local School District is asking voters on the Nov. 3 ballot to renew a 3.9-mill levy and approve an additional 4.9 mils – both for operating expenses.
If passed, the 3.9-mill issue would convert from a levy with a 5-year limit to a continuing levy. It generates about $605,000 annually.
The additional millage would generate about $930,000 a year and be in effect for five years.
Bill Nye, district treasurer, said the school system could be in a deficit situation of about $700,000 by next June without the additional millage.
The district lost about $230,000 in state funding in the spring when Gov. Mike DeWine balanced the state budget for fiscal 2020 with $775 million in general revenue fund reductions, including about $300.4 million for K-12 schools. The governor cited the loss of tax revenue from the shutdown of much of the state’s economy due to the pandemic as the reason for the cuts
Nye said the Genoa school board enacted about $135,000 in spending cuts in response to the loss of state funds, including paring the pre-school program and reducing staffing.
He said the Genoa Area Education Association, which represents the teaching staff, also voluntarily made some contract concessions, which resulted in savings.
Also, the district received about $80,000 in federal funding, Nye said.
“The district continues to review cost reduction opportunities. We have also negotiated more favorable contracts with vendors and will be seeing some savings with those,” he said.
If the additional millage is approved, some student fees, including the $100 annual base fee and elective course fees, would be waived for five years. The pay-to-participate fee, including the band activity fee, would be waived for the first year.
Voters initially approved the 3.9-mill levy in 2005. If the 9-mill issue is passed, it would cost the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 about $171.50 a year.
“We realize it’s a tougher time out there with the coronavirus. However, the levies will continue to provide the educational programs that we have without any reductions. Our students will continue to thrive from those programs and the taxpayers have come to expect these things from our district,” Nye said.
The Genoa Levy Committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.


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