By DENISE GRANT

Staff Writer

Voters in the Findlay School District will be asked to approve additional operating money for the schools on the spring ballot.

Findlay school board voted 5-0 in regular session Monday to place a five-year, 5.9-mill levy on the March 17 ballot.

There was no discussion.

If approved, collection of the levy would begin in 2021. The levy is expected to generate about $4.9 million each year when fully collected.

It is expected to cost the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 about $206 per year.

The last time Findlay City Schools asked for additional operating funds was in 2004, which was also approved as a five-year, 5.9-mill levy. In May 2014, voters agreed to make that levy permanent.

The district’s five-year financial forecast, which was also approved by the school board Friday, shows that without additional money, the city schools could face a $12 million deficit by 2024.

The school district has been deficit spending since 2016, relying on its yearly carryover balance and budget-cutting to balance the books.

Should the proposed levy fail, school officials said core classes will be maintained, but elective classes could be reduced, and the school board would have to consider staff reductions in all areas.

School officials said several “savings, efficiencies and consolidations” over the past 17 years have helped hold down spending, including consolidating three middle schools into two in 2012, for an annual savings of $1.1 million.

Dropping from three bus runs to two each day saves the district about $280,000 each year.

Separately, the board approved a resolution of commendation for outgoing board member Jane Robertson. Robertson’s second, four-year term on the board expires on Dec. 31. She did not seek re-election.

Laura Eier, of 310 Elm St., ran uncontested for the seat in the November election. She will take office in January.

A teary-eyed Robertson said she enjoyed her time as a board member, but said believes its time to move on.

Two other incumbent board members, Christopher Aldrich, 725 Meadowview Drive, and Kathy Siebenaler Wilson, 266 Haley Wood Drive, were also unopposed in the bid for re-election. Siebenaler Wilson will begin her third term in January, and Aldrich will begin his second.

Grant: 419-427-8412

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