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Several districts see new money after tax levy passage

Posted at 5:06 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 17:51:17-04

CLEVELAND — Several school districts in Northeast Ohio got a boost to their operating budget after voters went to the polls on Tuesday night. Nine districts in Northeast Ohio's largest counties had tax levies passed during the May 4 election.

"We're happy to share that our community overwhelmingly supported our school district last night," said Jason Niedermeyer, the assistant superintendent with the Brunswick City School District.

The levy the district said it needed failed three times before it passed on Tuesday night.

"So, we have not had an increase in operating dollars since 2006," Niedermeyer said.

"There were some serious implications for this levy that would impact staff and most importantly, students," said Nick Vento, a voter in the district. The district was making ends meet but the lack of updating funding that kept up with operating costs caused district leaders to make cuts. The most recent being the buses for the high school.

"I am really relieved for this community and especially the members of the school district," said another Brunswick voter, Jennifer Garrote. "It's a long-term thing that you kind of have to have your mind on outside of just be surface level."

In Brunswick, the new levy will bring in $7.53 million a year. It boils down to about $17 a month or $206.52 per year for taxpayers in the district.

"Looking at the 21-22 school year, we are going to have the ability to transport our high school students again," Niedermeyer said.

About an hour away from Brunswick, in Kirtland, the district saw voter support a levy again.

Money from the levy will go toward stadium repairs.

"It gets sloppy. We can't ever band on there as much as we like," said Kirtland superintendent Chad VanArnhem. "It's too narrow to even play soccer games on. The stands are not ADA-compliant."

VanArnhem said the stadium upgrade isn't the only thing on the to-do list with the new money.

"We have a science lab up in our high school right now that is not being used," he said. There are also repairs needed to smaller parts of the school, like flooring.

The Kirtland district levy will ask taxpayers for about $55 for every $100,000 appraised.

RELATED: May 4 Primary: Here's how Northeast Ohio voters decided on school levies