School district renewal levies pass in Champaign County


By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



Voters approved renewal levies for Urbana City Schools and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools in the Nov. 3 election.

Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools voters renewed the district’s 1 percent, 10-year income tax levy with more than 50 percent of the vote. The levy brings in an estimated $1 million annually.

“(We) would like to thank our community for approving the 1 percent income tax renewal levy for a period of 10 years,” Mechanicsburg Superintendent Danielle Prohaska said. “The district is committed to continued success in academics, agriculture, athletics and the arts. The community’s support and partnership is vital to Mechanicsburg’s success. The stability of resources will ensure that our partnership will grow and expand the opportunities for our students to be college or career ready.”

Urbana City Schools voters renewed the district’s 5.9-mill, five-year operating levy by 58.3 percent, according to unofficial vote counts. The levy is estimated to bring in $1.19 million next year.

“We are grateful that the Urbana community has once again voted in support of renewing this operating levy,” Urbana Superintendent Charles Thiel said. “The renewal of this levy will help to maintain the educational programs and fiscal stability of the district. This renewal will allow us to continue to focus on improving instruction and planning for our new school facilities without the distraction of worrying about how to adjust the school budget.”

Thiel added the state’s school funding system has forced districts to rely on levies to support operations.

“Unfortunately, in the state of Ohio, schools are always either on the ballot or planning to go on the ballot, and that is the position our district is in now,” he said. “We do have another operating levy renewal coming up that must be passed by the end of 2016. It provides almost $2.2 million in support and is also critical to continue our current programming. We are hopeful that the community will continue to support the daily work we do with our students.”

Unofficial vote totals put the tallies at 2,394-1,714 for Urbana and 730-649 for Mechanicsburg. Unofficial counts include absentee ballots, but not provisionals.

Voter turnout was 48.3 percent in Champaign County and 46.5 percent in Madison County, according to unofficial vote totals. Official vote tallies will be conducted Nov. 17 for both counties.

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.