Black River levy renewal passes

By Jonathan Delozier -

Voters approved a 7.8-mill operating levy renewal for Black River Schools on Tuesday, ensuring 12 percent of the district’s annual budget through 2024.

Across Lorain, Medina, and Ashland counties, the renewal garnered 1,352 votes for approval compared to 878 against, according to unofficial election night results.

In Lorain County, the measure passed by just 20 votes (186 t0 166). Among just over 900 voters in both Ashland and Medina counties, the levy was respectively approved by 60 and 63 percent majorities.

District superintendent Chris Clark said the choice was made to push for an early levy renewal to avoiding having it on the mid-term ballot with state and congressional races.

The current levy expires in 2019 and was first passed in 2014 at 8.5 mills.

About $1.6 million is generated annually by the levy. Clark said its benefits include the stabilization of enrollment, return of high school busing, hiring of an elementary and junior high counselor, and reintroduction of STEM programs.

Recent parking lot repaving projects and upgrades to heating and air conditioning systems were also attributed to the levy. The money has also contributed to average elementary and middle school class sizes decreasing from 27 to 21, Clark said.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier