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The Daily



07-16-03: Marion seeks increased levy amount
The Daily Standard

    MARIA STEIN - Voters in the Marion Local school district will decide the fate of a levy increase in November.
    Board of education members who met Monday night voted to place a levy on the November ballot and expect the amount to be 12.22 mills. The exact millage figure still needs to be certified by the county auditor.
    If approved at the polls, a 12.22-mill levy would generate $755,662 per year for a period of five years. It would provide a buffer for the school district's five-year financial forecast, district Treasurer Paul Gagel said.
    The current 11.83-mill levy, approved by voters in 1998, generates $555,662 per year. Voters previously approved emergency levies in 1993 and 1998 totaling 17.75 mills. In 1998, board members combined the levies into one and reduced the millage due to a large cash carryover at the time.
    That carryover steadily declined in the wake of factors over which the board of education has no control, board members said. Among those factors are decreasing interest rates on investments and rising insurance costs for employees. Additionally, budget woes on the state level give little hope for increased funding anytime soon.
    Board members in January approved placing a 12.22-mill levy on the May election ballot, but later withdrew it after learning there were no contested races in townships comprising the school district. Proceeding at that point would have required a special election with the school district footing the bill.
    Representatives of the Marion Local Athletic Boosters and the Marion Local Band Boosters came to the meeting armed with requests. Board members listened to the presentations and asked the representatives to return to discuss the matters in greater detail at the August meeting.
    The athletic boosters want to put up a building housing restrooms, a concession stand and a storage area between the baseball/softball fields and the track. The volunteer organization would fund the entire cost of the facility.
    The band boosters are seeking permission for a band trip to New York City at the end of the 2003-2004 school year. Board members have a number of questions regarding the proposed trip, including whether it would replace a Florida trip that takes place every four years.
    In other action, the board:
    - Hired Renee Pohlman as a half-time teacher on a one-year contract and Beth Rosenbeck as a summer school aide on an as-needed basis.
    - Approved one-year contracts for the following coaches: Renee Fleck, assistant varsity volleyball; Shannon Painter, freshman volleyball; Ann Nietfeld, head junior high volleyball; Jackie Winner, assistant junior high volleyball; Ron Hertel, varsity boys golf; and Greg Puthoff, varsity girls golf.
    - Heard an update from Dot Garman, district technology coordinator, regarding professional workshops she and Michelle Mescher attended.
    - Endorsed an agreement with First Call For Help Inc. as the safe school helpline program for students, faculty, parents and the community.
    - Accepted low bids from the following suppliers: Nickles Bakery for buns, rolls and bread; Chickasaw Garage for replacement tires, road service and hourly repairs; Reinhard Dairy for milk and juice; Maharg's Trash Service for trash pickup; Maria Stein Grain Co. for water softener salt; and North Star Blue Flame for liquid propane.
    - Agreed to helping purchase a welder, plasma cutter, 9,000-pound lift and vertical milling machine at a total cost of $19,967 for Tri Star Career Compact.


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