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The Suburbanite
  • Phila schools targeting May ballot

  • The New Philadelphia City School District will be making a second attempt to get voters to approve a $3 million emergency operating levy.
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  • The New Philadelphia City School District will be making a second attempt to get voters to approve a $3 million emergency operating levy.
    On Monday, the board of education passed a resolution to submit the issue to residents in the May primary. The resolution asks Tuscarawas County Auditor Larry Lindberg to determine the number of mills necessary to raise $3 million.
    Once the auditor determines the millage, the board will take a second vote at its January meeting to place the issue on the ballot.
    "Unfortunately, we can't do without it," district Treasurer Steve Sherer said after the meeting.
    "Our financial situation has not changed," added Superintendent Bob Alsept. "We don't like the idea of being on the ballot, but it's necessary to be back on. We hope to get the voters to understand the financial plight we're in."
    Sherer said the millage on the levy would likely be 7.1 mills.
    In November, district voters rejected a 7.2-mill emergency operating levy by a two-to-one margin. That levy would also have raised $3 million.
    New Philadelphia's five-year financial forecast is predicting a $6.5 million operating deficit by 2018 without additional money.
    Passage of the levy In November would have given the district a $6.9 million carryover into 2018. That amount is about enough to operate New Philadelphia Schools for three months.
    If the levy is approved in May, the district would still have a carryover in 2018, but it would be $3 million less than that forecast in November because New Philadelphia will have lost a year's worth of tax collections, Sherer said.
    Asked what the district might do different in May to convince voters to approve the levy, Sherer said, "We'll be much more visible."
    Board members and the administration have not made any decisions on the possibility of cuts in spending or programs, he said.
    In other action, the board:
    • Recognized New Philadelphia's fall athletes who received first team honors.
    • Recognized Kira Rossi, a second-grader at East Elementary, for a community service project. She asked people who attended her recent birthday party not to give her gifts. Instead, she requested that they bring stuffed animals that could be donated to Union Hospital In Dover. She collected more than 40 stuffed animals.
    • Accepted a donation of music instruments worth $4,500 from the Schwab family.
    • Accepted a donation of a Ultima 65 laminator from the South PTO.
    Reach Jon at 330-364-8415
    On Twitter: @jbakerTR

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