The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

David Hankins discusses Fayette school levy 10.31

Written by David Green.

By DAVID HANKINS

Gorham Fayette Superintendent

The Gorham Fayette Local Schools would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information and philosophies concerning the 7-mill levy renewal for operating expenses that appears on the Nov. 6 ballot.

School funding in Ohio is certainly a complicated and unpredictable computation, and we have been fortunate at FLS to be able to maintain stability in our finances while continuing to provide a quality education for the students in this school district.

You have probably also followed the discussions the Board of Education has had concerning the decision to let the current levy expire vs. placing the issue on the ballot. The resolutions were passed to place the issue on the ballot a short time before the lawsuit with DH Holdings was settled. Knowing the amount of the settlement, and remembering their promise to district residents to provide maximum tax relief, the board chose to remove the issue until the finances of the district and options for bond repayment  could be studied in the hope of providing for you the maximum return on your investment.

We heard from many of you at that time stressing that you did not want to see the issue removed and felt it was in the best interest of the district to maintain that revenue flow and to provide an opportunity for you to vote on that issue. $1.5 million has been set aside from the settlement to establish a defeasance fund to pay off current notes, and the majority of the board agreed to place the levy renewal on the November ballot. Later in this article I will share numbers and the effect of the renewal on our district.

There are four types of levies that are available to school districts for funding.

• A regular operating levy for current expenses is based on millage and not a dollar amount. Our current levy expiring is in this category. It can be renewed or replaced.

• An emergency levy is submitted as a dollar amount to be raised per year. The mills are adjusted each year to keep the income constant for that levy. It can be renewed.

• A replacement levy can raise more revenue than the levy it replaces, even though it could have the same millage rate. The reason is that the original levy which is being replaced may have been in existence through one or more reassessments. If the value of the property has increased, the factor of HB 920 kicks in. HB 920 reduces millage to provide the constant amount of dollars originally voted in. In the case of our 7-mill levy, our current effective millage is approximately 6.1.

• A school district income tax is based on a percentage and our district tax is currently 1.0%. Income tax is not affected by HB 920 and can grow with the district.

The Fayette Board of Education has chosen to go forward with a renewal of our current 7-mill five-year operating levy. This would result in you paying no more in taxes than you are currently paying, and with continued cost cutting should continue to operate our district and provide the extra funding needed for the new facility for operating costs.

Also, the defeasance will allow for bond repayment which will result in a rollback of millage, and which should show up in your tax bill at some point. If you log on to your computer at www.ode.state.oh.us and click on the left side on the School District Financial Status box, it will take you to the Five Year Forecast. You can check on the status of any school district in Ohio.

If you look at ours, you will see that we are projected with the renewal of this levy to remain in the black until 2011. With continued cost cutting and the levy renewal, that deficit can be held off until 2012, when the levy currently up for renewal will expire again.

We truly appreciate your support for the Fayette School District. If you have not driven by our new facility lately, please do. Parking lots have base coats, lighting is up and operable, windows and doors are in, roofs are almost completed, and the yard is seeded. They are on schedule, and move-in is on target for this coming summer, with a fall 2008 start in the new facility.

See you at the polls!

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