Friday, November 05, 1999

Lakota considers levy for projects

Enquirer Contributor

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Construction of two schools, money to upgrade computers and funding of capital improvement projects might all be included in an issue the Lakota Board of Education is considering for the March primary ballot.

        For nearly two hours Tuesday, board members discussed what projects they would fund and how much operating money would be needed to keep the district solvent for three to five years.

        “We don't have the bottom line yet on millage, but it amazes me that the combined millage will be no more than what we needed four years ago when all we did was a bond issue” to build Lakota East and West high schools, said board member Sandy Wheatley.

        Included in the ballot issue would be money to add weight rooms at Lakota East and West, build an 800- to 850-pupil elementary school, construct a junior school large enough for 800, and build a field house at each senior high.

        The board also is considering buying land for a second elementary school, but that money would come from proceeds of the 1994 bond issue that paid for construction of the high schools, Treasurer Alan Hutchinson said.

        Money also would be included to upgrade computers for student use, said Lakota spokesman Jon Weidlich. Sixty-one percent of the district's work stations are 4 years old or older. Upgrades would cost an estimated $1.8 million.

        “I'm comfortable with the items included, but would like to look at all the details,” said Jeff Jones, the board vice president.

        Mr. Hutchinson said the district should be able to accomplish its goals with a ballot question between 6.5 mills and 7 mills. He will present his recommendation on exact millage at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Lakota Freshman School.

        A 6.5-mill issue would cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 an additional $199 annually, Mr. Hutchinson said. A 7-mill issue would cost $214 more annually.


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