Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Milford, Lebanon bond issues pass

Six requests OK'd in Butler, Warren

By Jennifer Mrozowski and Sue Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Voters in Lebanon and Milford school districts approved bond issues for new school facilities Tuesday.

        Across southwestern Ohio, six of 10 other school money issues on local ballots in Butler and Warren counties won approval.

        The $50 million bond issue approved in Lebanon will build and renovate new school facilities.

        Milford Exempted Village School district approved a third-attempt bond issue, also for new school facilities, according to unofficial, final results from Clermont and Hamilton counties' election boards. The tally was 4,214 to 3,700.

        The Lebanon and Milford bond issues were two of a dozen school levies and bond issues put before 10 Greater Cincinnati school districts Tuesday.

        The Lebanon bond issue, which passed 3,033 to 2,241, will provide funding to build a new elementary school for kindergarten to fourth grades, add on to the three existing elementaries, renovate Berry Middle School, build a new high school, convert Donovan Intermediate to a building for kindergarten to fourth grades, renovate the current high school to become a 7-8 building. The new schools would accommodate the district's growth of about 100 students a year. The tax increase on a $100,000 home will be $177.

        “This means we can actually build the schools the children in this community deserve,” said Lebanon Schools Superintendent Bill Sears. “This is also a signal we're gaining the trust of this community. They like the fact we involved them” in community forums.

        “I'm elated,” said Milford Schools superintendent John Frye. “This means that we can begin to focus our efforts on planning for construction.” Mr. Frye also said the school district will begin planning for educational programs based on available space.

        The issue will add $125 to the annual tax bill on a $100,000 home.

        Milford officials had campaigned for money for four new schools to eliminate crowding in the district, which has grown by 191 students in the past three years and is expected to grow by about 50 students a year for the next decade.

        In other school issues, with tax increases based on a $100,000 home:

        • Carlisle: Residents voted down two issues. The first, a 2-mill continuing permanent improvement levy that would replace a five-year levy due to expire in December 2002, lost 702-419. The second, a 3.8-mill bond issue that would have provided $6.57 million to pay for classrooms, repairs and additions at two schools, lost 706-386.

        • Edgewood: Voterspassed a 6.9-mill continuing operating levy that will raise $2.13 million annually. The vote was 2,454-2,396. Tax increase: $211.

        • Fairfield: Residents voted down a 2.9-mill continuing operating levy, 4,185 to 3,310.

        • Mason: Residents approved a phase-in operating levy that begins at 6.95 mills and increases 1.5 mills each of the next two years. Tax increase: $213 in 2002, $259 in 2003 and $305 in 2004. The vote was 3,213 to 2,315.

        • Middletown: Residents passed a 4.35-mill renewal of a three-year operating levy, 2,912 to 2,144. Taxes will not increase.

        • Monroe: Voters approved a 4.35-mill, five-year operating levy, 1,285 to 191. Taxes will not increase.

        • Springboro: Residents were divided on two levies on the ballot. They passed a renewal of a 1.2-mill emergency operating levy, 2,953 to 2,260. Tax increase: $42. They rejected a permanent improvement levy for 2.14 mills, 3,029 to 2,088.

        • Wayne: Residents passed a replacement of a 2-mill permanent improvement levy, at 507-482. Tax increase: $22 a year.

       David Eck contributed.



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