School district takes another swing at passing bond and levy issue

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Northridge School District’s motto could be, “If you first don’t succeed, try and try again.”

One: this is a great example for the students attending there. Two: The district practices the meaning of this very phrase.

During the past five elections, general and primary, the district placed a bond and levy issue on the ballot. If the district was in Major League Baseball Spring Training, it would probably be sent down to the rookie league. While its pitching has been strong, the only one striking out is itself. Yet, the administration will take the field again on May 7th.  

“I think they do a great job with what we have,” said parent Kate Creager. Two of her children attend here. Her husband Rick went to school here when he was little.  “Everything is kind of the same. It’s just more cluttered than what I can remember,” said the father of three. 

“The teachers are amazing, but the building that they are given is…” said Kate.  

The district’s primary school has been needing major fixes for a couple of years. The administration showed pipes that have corroded and burst during the school day. In 2017, the kids there had to go outside in the middle of winter to use the restroom in a portable facility, because the bathrooms were in disrepair. They are fixed now. The principal, Jill Beaver, says it’s not so much fixed as it is when will something break again. 

“The boiler could go out,” said Beaver. She pointed toward the ceiling when she said, “We had a pipe burst in the middle of lunch.” 

The school has paneling on the walls to cover the peeling plaster. There are numerous areas where concrete blocks are showing in classrooms because of water damage. 

“It’s like every night it’s like [you hope] there’s something else that doesn’t go wrong the next day,” said Beaver. “You just never know what’s going to happen.” 

This May 7th could be the district’s time to pass the bond and levy. Previously, the Northridge Board of Education has attempted to pass a bond and levy issue of some kind in every primary and general election. Since 2016, the divide between yes and no votes has dwindled year by year.  

“This is a need not a want,” said school district superintendent Scott Schmidt. “It’s a need.” 

When looking at the numbers, the trend shows that this May 7th could very well get the school district past the proverbial hitting slump and finally get the funding it wants. In May the percentage difference between yes and no went from 17% to 1.5%. In November the percentage difference between yes and no went from 19% to 2%. Each are in favor of the district. While these could be considered as moral victories, there is still a zero in the win column. 

The hitting slump for the district looks like it could be coming to an end. Why? The percentage of “No” versus “Yes” votes is shrinking. 

Nov. 2018 lost by   91 votes NO 2171 (51.07%) to YES  2080 (48.93%) a difference of about 2% 

May 2018 lost by   43 votes NO 1426 (50.77%) to YES  1383 (49.23%) a difference of 1.5% 

Nov 2017 lost by  201 votes NO 1647 (52.79%) to YES  1473 (47.21%) a difference of 5.5% 

May 2017 lost by  356 votes NO 1266 (58.23%) to YES   908 (41.77%) a difference of about 17% 

Nov 2016 lost by 936 votes NO  2840 (59.87%) to YES  1904 (40.13%) a difference of more than 19% 

Source: Licking County Board of Elections 

Schmidt said that the board has listened to the voters and adjusted its plan. From funding the demolition of the current building to separating operating and building money. 

“It’s very encouraging that we’ve had more support,” said Schmidt.  

The current language on the May ballot reads: 

Income Tax – Additional – 0.5%, 27 Years, For the purpose of Permanent Improvements Bond Issue – Principal $22,000,000, 4.3 Mills, 27 Years, for the purpose of Constructing renovating and demolition of school facilities, together with equipment, furnishings, technology, site improvements and all necessary appurtenances thereto. 

Source: Licking County Board of Elections 

This is the breakdown of the bond if tax assessments remain unchanged: 

4.3 mills for 27 years. This amounts to $22,000,000 for Northridge School District. 

 $150.50 annually for a $100,000 home,  

$4,063.50 for the full amount for the time allotted  

The daily amount is a fraction more than $0.41. 

                   Appraised          Assessed 

Mills     x     Value           x     Value     =     total tax 

.0043   x  $100,000        x      35%       =     $150.50. 

Most recently in November 2018, the voters did approve a continuation of the current seven mill tax levy for the school district. This is how the district has been operating the school with salaries and other expenses.  

“It’s lasted a long time for us,” said Kate Creager. “I mean it’s almost 100-years-old, but it’s time to have a modern building that reflects the quality of the education our kids get.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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