Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily



10-15-03: Parkway board considers levy


MENDON — After talking about ways to trim a downward spiraling budget, Parkway Local Schools Superintendent Doug Karst asked board members to consider placing a renewal of the 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy on the ballot in March.
The current 1.5-mill levy was approved in 1999 and generates about $100,000 annually. It expires at the end of 2004.
“This levy has been very good for us. It has helped us purchase the land that the new school is being built on and with equipment purchases,” Karst told board members who met Tuesday night.
Karst only talked about renewing the current levy, but the district’s financial forecast shows the system may need additional millage in the future.
The five-year financial forecast, which the state requires each school district to create, was presented and approved by board members at the meeting.
The forecast shows the district’s overall budget balanced at $1.4 million in 2004 and then it begins to drop to $592,216 in 2005, a negative $118,720 in 2006, a negative $844,608 in 2007 and a negative $1.6 million in 2008.
“Figures show we are overspending our revenue this year and our cash balance will take us up through 2006, but we need to start looking at ways to save money now,” district Treasurer Tammy Muhlenkamp told board members.
Muhlenkamp pointed out that an advertisement in the Photo Star that said the school would be operating at a $2 million deficit in fiscal year 2007 was incorrect and misleading.
“That figure was not right. The revenue from replacement and renewal levies was not taken into consideration,” she told the board.
State cuts are taking their toll on the school’s financing, she said, along with skyrocketing insurance costs. Several local school districts also have been faced with the same problems and already have put increased or new levies on the ballot, such as at Marion Local, St. Henry and New Bremen.
“All these things eventually add up,” Muhlenkamp said. “But remember, this forecast is only a planning tool. By trimming costs, we intend to not be operating at a deficit by 2007.”
Karst and Muhlenkamp said they have been meeting to discuss cost-cutting measures.
“We are all very concerned about the financing and we’ll be looking at expenditures closely and at ways to save the school district money,” Karst said.
The forecast says school staff may be eliminated through retirement or a reduction in force to cut costs, and as a last resort, “the district also may need to look at placing additional millage on the ballot instead of renewing existing levies.”
Board member Jeff Long asked that the board be kept informed on cost-cutting measures.
The spending diet is being undertaken in the wake of the looming construction project of the district’s new educational complex.
Parkway school district voters approved an 8.8-mill levy last year that set the stage for the project, to be completed in 2006. The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) is contributing $24 million toward the $35.75 million total construction project, with taxpayers covering the remaining $11.75 million through the levy.
In other action, board members:
• Passed a resolution in support of the levy renewal that Vantage Career Center is asking for at the November election. The 0.8-mill five-year operating levy generates approximately $550,000 for the school district, he said.
• Extended the current contract two additional years for Karst and elementary Principal Michelle Duncan. The contracts would have expired at the end of this school year.
• Authorized an overnight field trip for the FCCLA members to attend cluster meetings in Cincinnati Nov. 14-16.
• Issued a limited contract for the remainder of the school year to Ann Vian as a half-time teacher.
• Offered a third medical insurance plan to qualifying employees. The plan is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) that is available through the Mercer Auglaize Employee Benefit Trust.
• Accepted the resignation of Matt Fisher as boys head track coach.
• Issued supplemental contracts to personnel who will be serving as mentor teachers and also issued a supplemental contract to Michelle Duncan as lead mentor and mentor program coordinator.
• Approved Becky Shope as volunteer assistant to the high school cheerleading program.
• Hired Greg Slusher as eighth-grade boys basketball coach.
• Hired Michael Schumm as high school girls assistant basketball coach.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822