The plan to build two new schools and renovate a third for Manchester Local continues to be just out of reach for the district. A 36-year, 8.3-mill bond issue appears to be defeated by a narrow margin.
According to unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, the plan was defeated by just 15 votes. A total of 1,347 district voters were against it, and 1,332 were for it.
If passed, the bond issue would have raised $30.5 million locally toward building a new elementary and high school and renovating the existing middle school. The state would have kicked in roughly $17 million, through grants, for the remainder of the $47 million project.
While the issue appears to have been defeated again, Manchester Superintendent Dr. James Robinson said there is still hope as 27 provisional ballots - and any additional absentee ballots - could come into play.
"It's not official yet," Robinson said via text to The Suburbanite. "We are down 15, but there are 27 provisional ballots yet that may be counted. We do not know if they are positive or valid. You also have to wait 10 days to see if any absentee ballots come in as well."
Despite the official outcome of the vote yet to be determined, Robinson says the district needs new facilities.
"We need new facilities, so until (the bond issue/levy) passes, we have not accomplished our goal even though there has been great community involvement," he said.
The count will be confirmed Aug. 19.
This same school issue lost by 80 votes in May.
New Franklin voters - which encompasses most of the Manchester Local School District - however, appear to have voted in favor of an income tax increase. Unofficially, 1,967 people were for it, and 1,321 were against it.
Once passed, the income tax will increase from 1 percent to 2 percent for people who live and work within the city; for those who work in communities that collect less than a 2 percent income tax; and for those who don't live in the city but are paying the current 1 percent.
Once official, the city will eliminate an existing 2.5-mill police levy. The income tax increase would go toward funding the police department.
In Springfield Township, a fire renewal levy, unofficially, had the overwhelming support of resident as 1,477 voters were for the issue and 710 against it.
The renewal, a 2-mill levy, will maintain the department's operational expenses.
Voters in the Springfield Local School District appear to have did something they hadn't in two previous tries: Pass a renewal levy.
A levy, which had been in place for 30 years, failed in November and May. This time, voters passed the measure, unofficially, 1,522-1,130.
Once passed, the renewal will generate $1.5 million a year and will keep existing programs in place. If it had failed, school officials had already approved $750,000 in cuts, which would have affected transportation, reduced supplemental contracts and would have reduced the number of certified and classified positions. A second, more steeper round of cutting, according to officials, would have been implemented in 2017.