A 1.95-mill permanent improvement levy is being considered by Wellington Schools officials with the goal of raising an estimated $385,000 per year.
Superintendent Ed Weber said the measure could be put before voters as soon as 2019.
The district currently transfers cash from its general fund to cover permanent improvements, or physical materials with a shelf life of more than five years such as building repairs, textbooks, and LED lights recently installed at the Dukes’ football field on Dickson Street.
This past school year, roughly $600,000 was spent on such measures.
“We’re still compiling what all of our permanent improvement needs are,” Weber said. “Meanwhile, we’re working on one project at a time. If we can put together a list of all the capital improvement needs the district has and how much it costs, we can budget it over a series of years. Our preliminary numbers point to about 1.95 mills. That could shift a little up or down.”
“We’re waiting to hear about our parking lots,” he said. “We’re in the middle of having them assessed and some of them have eroded to terrible shape. I don’t know if those need ripped out and replaced or if they’re salvageable. If we don’t get started on regular maintenance, things end up being so much more expensive.”
No permanent improvement levy has ever been instituted in the Wellington school district, though a 36-year bond issue that funded 63 percent of the $19.7 million McCormick Middle School’s construction was approved by voters in 2012.
Weber said this November’s ballot includes a 0.75 percent village income tax increase and a 0.75-mill permanent improvement levy for the Lorain County JVS, making the prospect of adding a Wellington Schools levy difficult.
“A lot of local issues are coming forward this year,” he said. “We do have some money in the bank right now and don’t have an immediate need, but we’re going to have to do this permanent improvement at some point. It’s a matter of finding the right time and determining the right ask for the village. So many of our projects seem to cost around $200,000. So this levy would let us do one or two things a year.”
“A bus is about $100,000 and we need to be replacing about one a year,” Weber said. “There’s also still curriculum improvement to be made at McCormick and Westwood and new instructional materials that they need. Typically, books come out of permanent improvement.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.