Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Monroe tax hike on ballot

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — Voters in Monroe Local Schools will be asked Nov. 6 to increase their taxes to pay for improved school facilities.

        The Monroe Board of Education voted Monday to put an 8.61-mill bond issue on the ballot to pay for a facilities plan that will be developed with community input over the next few months. It would provide $29,915,000 to pay for the plan.

        “This is a budgetary number we will have to work with,” said Steve Campbell, director of facilities and operations. “We're going for the maximum the state will allow us to go for because we have a K-12 need.”

        Architects Steed-Hammond-Paul Inc. have put together four options for the community to consider. They range in cost from $25 million to $30 million. The options were based on input from a phone survey, a design team and a focus group, said board member Suzi Rubin.

        Models, drawings or other renderings of the four options should be ready for viewing during Monroe CityFest, scheduled for Sept. 7-9. Those options are:

        • Plan A: Build an elementary school and a junior-senior high school on one new site. The two would share a cafeteria, gymnasium and theater or multipurpose room.

        • Plan B: Build one large school on a new site. Wings would separate grade levels.

        • Plan C: Renovate the existing elementary school, construct a second elementary on a new site and build a junior-senior high at a different location.

        • Plan D: Renovate the elementary school for use as a junior high and build elementary and high schools on a new site.

        The board has scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday a tour of the bowels of the current junior-senior high school, followed by a trip to Madison Local Schools' new junior-senior high school designed by Steed-Hammond-Paul. The public is welcome to attend, Mr. Campbell said.

        The bond issue, if approved, would cost the owner of a house with a market value of $100,000 an additional $263.68 annually in new taxes to pay for the improvements, according to the Butler County Auditor's office.


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