The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 9, 2013

Ashtabula school officials go back to drawing board

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA —

Voters in the Ashtabula Area City School District again delivered the message that they will not incur more taxes in order to help its financially strapped school district.

With a vote of 2,023 to 1,901, the 6.2-mill, five year emergency levy failed Tuesday. It would have generated $2.7 million annually and would have cost property owners $190 per $100,000 of property valuation a year, according to the AACS’s Treasurer’s Office.

“I want to thank everyone who got out and supported us,” Superintendent Patrick Colucci said. “It was a tough one and disappointing.”

The money would have allowed the district to return to busing all students and offer spring sports to students for free.

Currently, the state is operating at state minimum standards in many areas. The Board of Education already has had to chop more than $4 million from the budget.

There is an additional $1 million expenditure reduction plan in place, Colucci said.

“We will have to go back and review all items,” he said.

Colucci said the levy failing by only 122 votes made it especially heart-breaking. Throughout election night, as the levy committee would get updates, it seemed this one was going to pass, he said.

“It was very close,” he said. “(When it didn’t pass) It was just tough.”

School Board President, Christine Seuffert, called it, “devastating.”

Colucci said school officials and the levy committee will “go back to the drawing board” and see what to do next.