CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee Board of Education members voted last week to move forward with placing a bond issue and income tax levy before voters in the district, in hopes of garnering the share of funds needed to complete a major school building construction project.
Charlie Biggs was the solitary “no” vote on the measure brought before the board at a Thursday, July 21, meeting.
The approved resolution was two-fold: levying a tax on the taxable income of individuals in the district for the purpose of permanent improvements, and issuing bonds in the amount of $9 million for the purpose of “paying part of the cost of constructing a new junior/senior high school and a new Camden Elementary, together with furnishings, equipment and site improvements, and the necessity of levying an annual direct tax on all the taxable property in this school district, outside of the 10-mill limitation” to pay the interest on and to retire the bonds.
The .75 percent annual income tax would be instituted for 23 years, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, according to the proposed ballot language. The $9 million in bonds would be repaid annually over a maximum period of 37 years, with the property tax over the bond repayment period being 2.5 mills for each $100 of tax valuation (25 cents for each $100.)
The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) recently announced it had approved over $29.2 million in state funding for school construction work for Preble Shawnee.
According to an OSFC press release, the district is one of 15 from across the Buckeye state which received an offer of funding from the commission which oversees the state’s school facility renovation and construction program.
The funding, combined with $15.7 million from the district, will allow the district to move forward with the construction of a new elementary school and a new middle/high school that will have the capacity for career-technical education.
The total cost of the project is estimated at just over $45 million.
According to the program, school districts must raise their local share of the project budget within 13 months before the state funding can be released.
The Preble Shawnee Local Board of Education passed a resolution to move forward with the construction project at its May meeting, with member Biggs casting the single “no” vote at that time as well.
In May, school officials said residents in the district would still be paying the same amount of taxes as they did in 2015, should the issue pass.
According to the board, if approved, the income tax and bond issue would bring the district to within $500,000 of what will be needed to complete the project.