By ERIC SCHAADT
HAMLER — Patrick Henry School District voters Tuesday narrowly approved a replacement levy to help consolidate its schools onto one campus.
The district’s two elementary schools will be closed.
Replacement of a 1.9-mill levy, which is on the books for a continuing period, was approved by an overall total of 697 votes in favor, or 52 percent, to 642 votes against.
The unofficial, three-county breakdown from area elections boards is as follows: Henry County: 691 for and 622 against; Wood County 3 for and 14 against; and Putnam County, 3 for and 6 against. The vote totals include absentee ballots.
Patrick Henry Superintendent Tom Taylor said, “I would like to thank the voters of our communities for their support, and the levy committee for all of their time and effort. This is a positive step in the right direction for our district both academically and financially.
“The passage of this levy will help us regain valuable instructional time for our students, promote increased collaboration among our staff and fully utilize our employees that are currently traveling between buildings.”
Replacing the levy, as opposed to renewing it, will mean more money for the district. When property values rise, Ohio’s schools are not allowed to receive more property tax revenue without voter consent.
Passage of the replacement levy allows the 1.9-mill tax to be collected on current property valuations.
The replacement levy will generate $259,428 annually, according to county officials. The tax, which has been on the books for about 30 years, currently brings in $145,000 annually, school officials said.
The planned consolidation of district buildings will reduce the time elementary students spend on buses. Deshler Elementary School and Malinta-Grelton Elementary School will be shuttered.
Designs call for adding 12 classrooms to Patrick Henry Middle School, which then would house grades kindergarten through six.
Eight classrooms would be added to the high school, which would hold grades seven through 12, school officials said.
Renovations at the middle school and high school are estimated at $8 million, with $2 million to be borrowed against the levy, and $6 million to be borrowed against savings from closing the two elementary buildings, according to school officials.
Closing the two buildings would save $350,000 a year.
Also Tuesday, Holgate voters approved two recreational levies.
A 2-mill additional levy for five years, to generate $24,838 a year for operations at the village swimming pool, passed 71 to 65.
A person with a home appraised at $100,000 will pay $70 annually, the auditor’s office said.
A 1-mill additional levy for a continuing period for village park improvements was passed 84 to 49. The levy will bring in $12,419 annually. A person with a home appraised at $100,000 will pay $35 a year.
Deshler voters defeated a 2.1-mill additional levy for five years to fund police protection services, 220 to 154.
The levy would have raised $42,275 annually.
Here’s how Henry County voted on:
State Issue 1, to renew a bond program for infrastructure: Yes, 2,833. No, 1,826.
Democratic primary for governor: Larry Ealy, 204 votes; Edward FitzGerald, 577 votes.
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