Wolf Creek Emergency Levy Renewal Before Voters

By
Fred Kight

Dateline
Updated Mon, Feb 20, 2012 5:05 am

A levy passed five years ago by voters in the Wolf Creek Local School District expires at the end of the year, but not if residents of the Washington County District agree to keep it on the books.

Superintendent Bob Caldwell hopes voters will say "yes" to a levy extension when they go to the polls March 6.
 
"We are running a five-year emergency levy, it will generate $781,927. An emergency levy is for a set amount of money and then the auditor verifies, based upon the district's evaluation, the amount of mills.  Ours is currently set at 5.76. This being a renewal, the residents passed it five years ago, it was at that time 6.14 mills and this is for our general fund. The money is currently being used to maintain and operate virtually every program that we have in our school system," said Caldwell.  
 
Caldwell says revenue from the Wolf Creek levy goes toward teacher salaries, textbook purchases and bus fuel, among other things. He estimates nearly 72 percent of the local funds for the school are generated by the taxes from two major businesses: American Electric Power and Globe Metallurgical.
 
"With them being, currently, in good operation and good standing in taxes, we hope to be able to put aside just a little of this five-year emergency levy into a permanent improvement account," said Caldwell. "Our district roofs are 14 years old and we want to prepare. Their capacity is about 20 years and we want to be able to set aside a little bit of money on our good years so that we don't have to go back and ask our voters for a permanent improvement levy."
 
Superintendent Caldwell says if the district should lose the nearly $800,000 a year from the levy, school officials would be forced to make unspecified cuts in the budget.
 
"We've been flat-lined for a number of years here at Wolf Creek for our state funding, so that's kind of the expectation for the future," said Caldwell. The lack of change in state funding means the school district must turn to voters, says Caldwell.  He asked members of the Board of Education not to create a list of cuts until after the election.  
 
"Our word and our efforts at the present time are just to get out the positive and not to try and create any kind of a negative cast of what we would be forced to do if, in fact, the levy is not successful," said Caldwell.
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