Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
New Bremen School district voters say no
By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN - Voters in the New Bremen Local school district on Tuesday soundly defeated a combined 7.55-mill bond issue and permanent improvement levy to finance the construction and maintenance of a new K-8 building.
Just over 61 percent of those casting votes in Auglaize, Mercer and Shelby counties, or 972 people, were against the proposal that would have generated $13 million. Votes in favor of the levy totaled 607.
Superintendent Howard Overman said the disappointing loss triggers a need to "re-analyze and re-assess" various options before moving forward with another ballot issue.
The state, which pledged $6.845 million toward the Ohio School Facilities Commission project, allows schools three attempts to generate local dollars.
Keith Bornhorst, vice president of the board of education and host for numerous open houses during the campaign, expressed disappointment.
"I didn't expect it to get voted down that badly," he said this morning. "The board will have to sit down and decide when and if to put another levy on the ballot."
There is no plan to call a special meeting. However, the matter will likely be on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled session at 7:30 p.m. March 14.
Overman cited likely factors in the defeat as uncertain economic times, some not wanting to lose the additions constructed to the existing building, selection of a site away from the downtown area and uncertainty about what would happen to the gym at the current building.
Construction plans call for a 80,540-square-foot building to be constructed west of the existing high school with a connector joining the two.
Since the OSFC requires a maintenance levy, the combined issue included a 1-mill permanent improvement levy with the board vowing to discontinue collection of a .75-mill levy upon approval.
The cost to the owner of a $100,000 property would have been $231.24 annually for 33 years.
Elections results are unofficial until an official count is held within two weeks of election day.