Fayette library seeks levy 12.23.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library board is moving forward with a levy effort in hopes of increasing revenue following state cuts.

As a school district library, permission for the levy must come from the Fayette Board of Education, and approval was given at the Dec. 14 meeting.

The next step, explained school treasurer Kelly Bentley, is for the county auditor to approve the issue. Finally, the levy request will return to the school board for placement on the May 4 ballot.

The library board seeks a five-year, 0.75-mill operating levy in the May 2010 election. If approved by school district voters, the first collection from the levy would come in May 2011.

Library board president Mike Figgins explained to the school board in October that the levy would bring in about $30,000 annually and cost a typical homeowner less than $15 a year.

The decision to ask for levy approval followed a large reduction in state allocations to libraries. Fayette’s state aide is expected to come in $41,000 less than the 2008 level of $152,500.

In mid-September, Normal Memorial Library trimmed 20 hours from the weekly schedule, with evening hours offered only once a week and no Saturday hours. Some Saturday hours have been restored because of a new school program at the library.

Library director Sally Canfield told the school board that the reduction in hours is especially difficult for patrons during tough economic times when internet service is important for job searches. Due to layoffs, many area residents have been forced to cancel their home internet connection.

The vote will be the first attempt for a levy by the Normal Memorial Library board.

BOARD MEMBER—The board met in a closed session to interview two people who expressed interest in serving on the school board. No one filed to replace the retiring Paula Schaffner in the November election so board members will appoint a new member in January.

CUSTODIAL—The board voted to bring back part-time custodian Dana Hanna to clean up after athletic contests and perform other duties.

She was laid off in June due to a budget  shortfall, but hiring her on a part-time basis will save the district money rather than paying full-time custodians at an overtime rate.

Hanna will work 20 hours a week through the end of June.

FUNDING—The Ohio General Assembly came to an agreement with Governor Ted Strickland late Thursday to address the state’s $851 million shortfall. This cancels the threat of cuts in education spending.

“This is a great relief to school districts in Ohio,” Fayette superintendent Russ Griggs said. However, he added, it doesn’t address any future budget problems that might arise.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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