Doughty asking state to reconsider policy

Aaron Krause • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:05 PM

WILLARD Willard City Schools superintendent Dennis Doughty is asking the state to reconsider a policy that could impact how much the district would have to pay for a building project.

The school board voted on Dec. 10 to participate in the Ohio School Facilities Commission's Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.

The commission administers the state's comprehensive kindergarten through 12th grade public school construction program. Through the assistance program, Ohio schools can apply for a state guarantee for a loan to the governing board of the community school from a bank chartered by the U.S. or the state. The guarantee cannot exceed $1 million for owned improvements or $500,000 for lease-hold improvements and cannot exceed 15 years.

In a letter to commission director Michael C. Shoemaker, Doughty said the elimination of the Tangible Personal Property Valuation will lower overall district property valuation. That will result in the loss of $20 million money that would be used for a future building project.

"The impact of this loss is dramatic," Doughty wrote in the letter. "The tangible personal property valuation was used in determining our equity rank but when it comes to paying our share, it is used against the district and a higher millage must be raised locally.

"Essentially, the district is placed in double jeopardy ... we have a higher equity rank because of the tangible personal property valuation but we cannot use that valuation in passing a levy because it will be eliminated in the next year or so."

Doughty asked Shoemaker to consider redoing the equity list and subsequent rankings using actual district valuation representative of what the tax payers will be paying.

Doughty said he received a response from Shoemaker, who will get back to him.

"At least we're being listened to," the superintendent said.

Ohio School Facilities Commission representatives will talk about its assistance program at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Willard High School auditorium. During the last 15 to 30 minutes of the event, community members will be invited to offer feedback about possible Willard City School district facilities projects.

In other business:

The board voted unanimously to increase adult ticket prices for high school varsity games from $5 to $6. Student prices will remain at $5.

The board appointed Tom Showman the body's president and Lisa Bohach vice president.

The board voted unanimously to approve a satellite exercise science and sports medicine program to be hosted at Willard High School. The program falls under Pioneer Career and Technology Center (PCTC). The board approved the program pending enrollment, approval of the PCTC board and obtaining a properly licensed teacher.

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