Wednesday, January 19, 2000

School districts resolve boundary dispute

Enquirer Contributor

        OXFORD — Sharon Dykes won't have to put the “for sale” sign on the Hanover Township home she had built last spring.

        That's because the Talawanda and Ross boards of education recently came to an agreement on Mrs. Dykes' lot — and 13 other lots on Reily-Millville and Mormon roads — that will allow the property to be transferred from the Talawanda Schools to Ross Schools.

        The move affects about 10 children who have been attending Ross Schools. Like Mrs. Dykes, the families bought the land with the understanding it was in the Ross district.

        “I wanted to stay in the Ross Schools,” Mrs. Dykes said Tuesday. “I never would have bought it if I had known (it was in Talawanda). I just built the house I wanted. I didn't want to sell it, but I would have.”

        The question of attendance came up last summer after Ross Superintendent David McWilliams searched for an address after being informed a family was moving from one area of the district to another. While the matter was investigated by officials in Talawanda and Ross, the students were allowed to remain in Ross, Mr. McWilliams said.

        Mrs. Dykes said she and her neighbors were told by Realtors the land along Reily-Millville was in the Ross Schools. Board of elections officials told her odd numbered houses — such as hers — were in the Ross Schools but even-numbered houses were in Talawanda. She later learned that was incorrect.

        Under an agreement approved by both boards of education, the land will be transferred from Talawanda to Ross, pending final approval from the Ohio Board of Education. In exchange for transferring the land, Ross will pay the Talawanda Schools $2,000 a year for the next 10 years. That's the amount of taxes the Talawanda schools received last year from the property, Mr. McWilliams said.


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