Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Warren County Schools

Little Miami says no; Springboro, Wayne say no

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

Educators in Springboro and Wayne schools will have to re-think plans to add schools after voters Tuesday apparently rejected bond issues to pay for them.

However, in the Little Miami Schools, voters approved, in unofficial returns, a 6.9-mill operating levy that will allow the district to begin reinstating programs and staff that were cut after voters rejected a May levy.

"We want to get those things back as quickly as possible, but we don't want to cause a disruption," Superintendent Ralph Shell said late Tuesday. The earlier rejection resulted in athletes paying to play sports, closed libraries and closed buildings after 4:30 p.m.

Earlier this year, the Little Miami Board of Education approved program and personnel cuts totaling $1.8 million.

The board will meet at 5 p.m., today, to map out a plan to bring back programs, open buildings in the evenings and hire staff, Mr. Shell said.

The Little Miami levy includes renewal of a $930,000 emergency levy and an additional $1.77 million. Taxes on a $100,000 house would increase $136 each of the next five years beginning in January.

In the Wayne Local Schools, voters rejected an income tax and a bond issue to pay for construction of a fine arts center.

The income tax had been expected to bring in about $1.6 million annually. The board had pledged to stop collections next year on four levies due to expire through 2005. The drop would have been about 7.15 mills.

In Springboro, voters rejected a 5.12-mill bond issue that would have provided $43.8 million to pay for construction of two elementary schools. The owner of a $100,000 house would have paid $162 annually for the next 28 years.

A 4.83-mill operating levy was being rejected by a 58-42 vote in unofficial, incomplete returns. It would have brought in $2.6 million annually with collections beginning in 2005.

In Wayne, voters were rejected a 2-mill bond issue to raise $4.5 million for a fine arts center to at the middle school. Taxes on a $100,000 house would have increased about $61 annually for 26 years.

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