Sidney voters asked to approve school districts PI levy

Posted by Mark Johnson

Registered voters in the Sidney City Schools District will go to the surveys on Tuesday, March 15, and cast their votes for a 3-mill 5-year irreversible improvement levy.

I`ve run 15 levies throughout the time I`ve invested as superintendent, said Superintendent John Scheu. A various approach has been taken to run each project.

There are no backyard indications promoting the levy, but that doesn`t imply school officials aren`t getting the word out about the importance of the passage of the levy.

Just because we have a low-key campaign doesn`t mean we`re taking anything for approved, said Scheu. I`ve given talks and discussions to groups in the area. The school website has information about the levy on it.

The district newsletter has actually been sent out to each home and it has levy info in it. We`ve produced information fliers about the levy, he said. There are no signs in the backyards because of the time of the levy. With the election on March 15, it`s not always easy to put backyard signs in the ground. We chose it may not be in our best interest to invest money on signs.

The districts last PI levy ended in 2009. The Board of Education made the choice to let the.8 mill PI levy end. In 2015, the board minimized the millage being gathered for the repayment of the Sidney Middle School Bond levy by 1.2 mills.

The proposed levy PI levy would create $105 each year on property valued at $100,000. If approved, the levy would create $1,383,628 annually.

We hope the voters will look at how difficult we have worked to make the district solvent, said Treasurer Mike Watkins. We have a carryover to carry us for several years out. We remain to take PI money from the basic fund since we weren`t have a PI levy.

The best approach for our district is to have the irreversible enhancements be moneyed by its own levy. That`s what`s been carried out in the past. With this levy (3-mill) we`re attempting to return to that structure.

Since the PI levy ended in 2009, the district has transferred $1,450,000 from the general fund to the permanent enhancement fund for repair works and expenditures for the district such as school buses, books, roofing, windows and door replacements.

Pending and known PI expenses for the next five years is estimated at $1.18 each year and include products such as bus purchases, boiler replacements and roofing repair works.

The PI levy, stressed both Scheu and Watkins, can only be utilized for permanent improvements for the district. A long-term enhancement is defined as a product with an estimated service life of five years.

The permanent improvement levy cannot be used for salary benefits, acquired services or supplies, said Watkins.

There`s a lot of mistaken beliefs that the PI levy is going to pay for salaries, said Scheu. There are particular things the levy can be used for.

Watkins stated while the carryover quantity for the district is strong today, that figure will begin to decrease in a few years.

We are utilizing general fund money for the long-term improvements for the districts. Costs for the district are starting to increase.

Our expenses are going up quicker than our profits, he stated.

In the past, said Watkins, state funding has actually been desirable to Sidney.

This year, it`s going the other method, stated Watkins. The district had been receiving boosts in funding for the previous four years. This year, the financing is reducing.

The state budget plan is for just two years, stated Watkins. We don`t understand what the future will bring to the district.

Watkins said the board of education didn`t wish to request for money prior to we need to.

Our rate of funding from the state is decreasing, stated Watkins. The variety of students who live in Sidney consisted of in the funding has dropped this year. The student population has dropped our foundation funding from the state by $220,000. We also have fewer kindergarten students can be found in than the variety of those who are graduating.

Scheu stated he has actually provided several PowerPoint presentations to area groups about the levy.

We`re not taking anything for approved, stated Scheu. I think that we have actually been good stewards of the taxpayer`s money. We have actually not been wasteful investing their money.

The levy is for only 5 years, included Watkins. Provide us this opportunity so you can see what we finish with it for the district and our students.

4 years earlier, stated Scheu, the district had no money which resulted in the layoff of instructors, reduction of personnel and wages frozen.

We made a promise during the last campaign that we wouldn`t be requesting any more operating money, said Scheu. If we don`t get the PI passed, we will have to go back for operating funds.

Both guys stated they are proud of care and maintenance that has actually been done on the districts building. The earliest structure in the district was built in 1930; the most recent structure in 2003.

The need for a PI levy, said Scheu, is there and he hopes the voters will support the needs of the school district and its students.

PI needs outlined.

Throughout a meeting in 2015, Eric Finke, Sidney City Schools director of operations and technology, and Watkins described the need for a permanent enhancement levy for the district.

An evaluation of requirements at each of the districts building was presented by Finke. A five-year plan of repairs/replacement of equipment was outlined.

Emerson Elementary was integrated in 1950. On the repair schedule for 2017 is to repair the boiler space ceiling, $7,000, cement deal with the walkways, $6,000, and replace cold water lines, $9,000. In 2018, repairs include roofing and rain gutters changed, $50,000, and resurface the playground (pea gravel), $50,000.

In 2021, the courtyard doors are to be replaced, $7,000. Floor covering is to be replaced in three spaces over a three-year period of 2021, 2022 and 2023 for an estimated cost of $6,500. In 2022, the boiler heating unit is slated to be replaced for $80,000.

Longfellow Elementary School was likewise integrated in 1950. Projected needs consist of: cement work on walkways, $6,000, change cold water lines, $9,000, and parking area, $6,000, all in 2017; resurface the playground, $70,000 in 2018; roofing system and gutter systems replaced, $50,000, and courtyard doors changed, $7,000, both in 2021; floor covering in three rooms replaced, $5,000, in 2021, 2022 and 2023; and boiler heating unit changed, $80,000 in 2022.

Whittier Elementary School was built in 1950. Predicted needs consist of: cement work on sidewalks, $6,000, replace cold water lines, $9,000, parking area, $2,500, and tuck pointing of bricks, $3,000, all in 2017; floor covering in three spaces, $5,000, in 2017, 2021 and 2022; roof and gutter systems replaced, $15,000, and resurfacing playground, $50,000, both in 2018; courtyard doors changed, $7,000, and three-phase electric upgrade, $225,000, both in 2021; and boiler heating unit replaced, $80,000 in 2022.

Requirements for Northwood Elementary, which was built in 1957, consist of hot water heating unit, $1,000, and tuck pointing of bricks, $4,000, modular class canopy replacement, $5,000, all in 2017; flooring in 3 rooms, $5,000, in 2017, 2022 and 2023; roof and gutters changed, $65,000 in 2018; three-phase electric upgrade, $200,000 in 2021; and boiler heating system replacement, $100,000 in 2022.

Sidney Alternative School was integrated in 1930. Requirements include parking area, $6,000, tuck pointing of bricks, $8,000, ceiling in basement repaired, $7,000, all in 2017; resurface playground, $80,000, in 2018; roofing and rain gutters changed, $40,00, and boiler heating system replacement, $50,000, both in 2022; window replacements, $35,000, and door replacements, $15,000, both in 2023.

Lowell Elementary School was opened in 1950. Requirements for the structure consist of: parking area, $6,000, and tuck pointing of bricks, $8,000, both in 2018; window replacement, $30,000, door replacement, $10,000, both in 2021; and boiler heating unit replacement, $50,000, in 2023.

Sidney Middle School, which was built in 2003, has the following needs: mixing valve in boiler room replacement, $2,500, car park fracture fill and paint, $16,600, and lighting in audeteria, $5,000 after DPL discounts, all in 2017; and floor replacements, $50,000, in 2023-2028.

Sidney High School was built in 1960 and refurbished in 2004. Structure needs consist of: warm water heating system and lines, $300,000, water heaters, $10,000, blending valve, $5,000, C hall doors-leaking, $3,000, all in 2018; HVAC upgrade in A, B and C halls, $2 million, in 2019-2020; basement cement, $75,000, in 2021; B hall plumbing, $100,000, in 2022; variable frequency drives for 1960 motor, $15,000, in 2023; roofing replacements, $425,000, in 2022-2026; and floor replacements, $50,000, in 2023-2028.

Requirements at the board of education structure, which was built in 2004, include: garage for school vans, $75,000, in 2017; and generator replacement, $25,000, in 2021.

Transportation requires consist of school vans, $25,000 per van, 2017, 2017 and 2018; and school buses, $100,000 per bus, in 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Innovation needs include: desktop replacements, $800 per seven-year cycle, 125 systems, $100,000; mobile phones each year, Chrome and iPads, $150,000; headphones for computers/testing, $15 per kid, $50,000 to $73,000, in 2017; switch replacement starting in 2021, five per year, $5,000 after E-rate; UPS upgrade district wide, $20,000, after $80 percent E-rate, in 2017.

The service center is where all the maintenance automobiles, salt and supplies are kept. Requirements were consisting of roofing replacement, $100,000, in 2021.

Watkins and Finke have actually forecasted the annual PI expenditures for 2017 to 2025 to be: $883,600 in 2017; $992,000 in 2018; $1 million in 2019; $1 million in 2020; $842,500 in 2021; $903,000 in 2022; $765,500 in 2023; $600,000 (floor covering, technology, SHS roof and windows) in 2024; and $600,000 (flooring, technology, SHS roofing and windows) in 2025.