Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
By William Kincaid
Celina school project nixed
  The poor economy has led Celina City School officials to scrap plans for a school construction project anytime soon.
During a school board meeting Monday night, Superintendent Matt Miller said it may be difficult to justify the need for new or renovated school facilities with the many layoffs in the area.
"The need is there. The timing's not right," Miller said.
Miller, with the approval of board members, will defer an offer to come this spring for funding from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) for a school construction project. This is the second time the school is deferring state money; the first time was in September.
"That's not a decision I want to make on my own," Miller told board members about rejecting the money at this time.
"I'm definitely in favor of deferring," board member Matt Gilmore said.
Other board members also supported the decision.
Miller said state officials are committed to keeping the OSFC money intact for the next few years even as Gov. Ted Strickland prepares to announce major budget cuts across the board.
When asked how many times Celina can defer OSFC funding, Miller replied that school officials will have wiggle room.
Miller and board members on Monday night also canceled the second community engagement meeting scheduled for Jan. 26 to further discuss a school renovation or construction project.
The unofficial word from OSFC was that the state would have funded 44 percent of a school construction/renovation project, leaving taxpayers to fund 56 percent.
Miller said he thinks school officials would have a hard time getting a tax levy passed at the polls due to the economy.
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• Health department staff granted 3 percent raise
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Mostly sunny, mild