CANFIELD - The superintendent of Canfield Local Schools said the 6.8-mill operating levy the district is asking voters to approve Nov. 2 is necessary to keep the district running. The levy would generate $3.8 million.
Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the decision to ask residents to approve the district's first new levy in eight years was made after exhausting all other options.
"We've cut expenses, cut corners, made staffing cuts," Zambrini said. "This is it. We need this to continue operating as we have been."
Without the levy, the school district could be facing some major budget holes in the future, he said.
The new levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $208 a year when it takes effect in 2011. However, in 2013, the 2.5-mill bond issue from 1999-2000, which was used for building additions and remodeling, will be paid and taxpayers in Canfield will be paying 2.5-mills less in school taxes. So once that comes off the books, the tax bill for homeowners will drop from 6.8 mills to 4.3 mills.
At that, based on the same formula, the owner of $100,000 home can expect their tax payment to come down to about $134 a year.
Zambrini said school staff has been doing more with less for some time. In the past eight years, Canfield has eliminated curriculum and technology director positions, the head principal position at Canfield High School, a district computer technician, K-12 curriculum council and some part-time cafeteria staff, he said.
Additionally, 12 coaching and adviser positions were eliminated and a 20 percent cut was made from the general fund for supplies and materials. Many of those job duties were re-assigned to other staff members, he noted.
"We have continued operating and done the best we can with what we have," Zambrini said. "But the time is coming that we need more to work with. If voters don't approve this levy, we will have to place it on a future ballot and then, not only do you have debt to deal with, you have debt on top of debt."