Wednesday, November 5, 2003

2 school levies approved



By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] New Burlington Elementary sixth-grader Corey Taylor pushes the Mount Healthy schools levy.
(Michael Snyder photo)
Sports and extracurricular activities will survive in Mount Healthy and Mariemont now that voters have approved operating levies for both school districts.

The fifth time was a charm for Mount Healthy City School District,which got a levy passed on its fifth attempt since August 2002. Voters Tuesday approved the 6.95-mill operating levy 52 percent to 48 percent.

"This is going to enable us to keep extracurricular activities and our current buildings will remain open," said Dave Horine, superintendent of the 3,800-student district. Mount Healthy administrators and school board members had discussed the possibility of dropping sports and activities, as well as closing an elementary if the levy lost.

The levy will raise $2.2 million annually. It will be used to offset the $1.7 million deficit the district faces for next school year. The owner of a $70,000 home will pay an additional $149 a year; the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $213.

Voters in the 1,700-student Mariemont City School District approved their levy 65 percent to 35 percent. Mariemont's school board had approved a resolution to drop sports and extracurricular activities today if the 5.5-mill operating levy failed.

Superintendent Gerald Harrissaid Tuesday's vote of confidence will allow the district to maintain its reputation for excellent programs and staff.

"It's a tremendous pat on the back to the district because it was a huge success," Harris said.

The levy, about half the size of the 2002 levy that was defeated, will raise $1.5 million annually. The money will be used to cover basic operations.

The owner of a $100,000 home will pay an additional $168 a year.

Sue Kiesewetter contributed. E-mail ckranz@enquirer.com




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