East Holmes considering substitute levy for November

*This story first appeared in The Budget’s June 27, 2018, Local Edition. 

By Stacey Carmany
The Budget

The East Holmes Board of Education is considering placing a substitute levy on the November ballot to take the place of its existing 10-year, 1.49-mill emergency levy that is due to expire at the end of next year.

During their June meeting, members of the East Holmes Board of Education gave a first reading of a resolution beginning the process of placing a substitute levy effective for a continuing period of time on the ballot for the November 6 General Election.

Superintendent Erik Beun explained that the levy being suggested will not increase the tax burden for existing properties but instead will allow the district to realize additional property tax revenue on new development.

“What happens there is it keeps collections the same as the emergency levy but allows you to experience additional revenue on any growth that happens in your total property value,” he said. “For current persons owning a property in East Holmes, your taxes for this levy won’t change, but the substitution part is if there’s new construction or new growth, should it pass, we would experience that additional revenue on that new construction.”

Under the district’s existing emergency levy, the total revenue generated for the district is currently fixed at $550,000 annually, according to Beun.

He noted that the substitute levy being considered is also effective for a continuing period of time, which means that the district will not have to keep coming back to voters every 10 years for renewal.

The resolution will be brought back before the board for a second reading during the July 17 meeting.

In other business, the board learned that the district has been honored with a 2018 Auditor of State Award for having a clean audit report. Clean audits are those that contain no findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or questionable costs. Presenting the award to district Treasurer Kellie Breehl was Lindsay Kuhn from the office of Ohio Auditor Dave Yost.

“Certainly, this is a real feather in your cap because very few folks actually receive this award,” Kuhn said.

In other business, the board:

APPROVED an agreement with MEB Systems Inc. of Sugarcreek for roof repairs at Hiland High School at a cost of $44,935.

RENEWED the contract with Blackboard Connect Services for the one-year period from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, at a cost of $4,062.50. The contract is for the district’s AlertNow mass notification system.

APPROVED an agreement with The Wilderness Center for the 2018-2019 school year at a cost of $1.25 per pupil.

SET the mileage reimbursement rate at 51 cents per mile per the negotiated agreement.

HEARD that new signs have been installed at the front of Wise and Flat Ridge elementary schools. New playground equipment for Flat Ridge is also due to arrive at the end of the month.

LEARNED that the resurfacing of the tennis courts at Hiland by the Vasco Group of Massillon is nearly completed. The gym floor at the Perry Reese Community Center is also in the process of being refinished.

HEARD that the first-ever field trip to Washington D.C. for the eighth-grade classes at Chestnut Ridge and Walnut Creek was a great success with positive feedback from both students and parents. Plans are already being set for next year’s trip.

ENTERED into agreements with Anazao Community Partners and Springhaven Counseling Center to provide counseling services to district students.

ACCEPTED the donation of a DeMarini bat and grip from Gloria Fawcett – Reach Out for the fourth-grade class at Chestnut Ridge.

ACCEPTED the following resignations: Rachel Morgan, intervention specialist at Winesburg Elementary, effective June 30; and Emma Raber, custodian at Charm Elementary, effective at the end of the 2017-2018 contractual school year.

APPROVED one-year limited contracts for the 2018-2019 school year to the following classified personnel: Rachel E. Miller, evening custodian at Chestnut Ridge and Mt. Hope schools; Shannon Olsen, classroom aide at Berlin Elementary; and Amanda J. Yoder, classroom aide at Chestnut Ridge Elementary.

APPROVED one-year limited contracts for the 2018-2019 school year to the following certified personnel: Michelle Mishler, intervention specialist at Hiland, and Elisabeth Weber, intervention specialist at Winesburg.

APPROVED a three-year contract extension for Superintendent Erik Beun effective August 1, 2018, through July 31, 2021 with step increments as follows: 18-19 – $94,212; 19-20 – $96,096; 20-21 – $98,018.

APPROVED Launie Shaw as 7th-grade girls volleyball coach for the 2018-2019 school year.

The next meeting of the East Holmes Board of Education is Tuesday, July 17, at 7:30 a.m. in the Central Office, located at 6108 County Road 77 in Millersburg.