Batavia board members thank levy committee

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Batavia Local School District Board of Education members recognized community members who worked on the levy campaign during their Dec. 17 meeting.

“We could not have done it without the time and effort that you guys put in,” Superintendent Jill Grubb told committee members.

Board members took a break to celebrate the levy passage during the first regularly scheduled meeting since election results were official.

“Who says every vote doesn’t count?” Michael Enriquez, board president, commented.

The 4.51 mill bond issue and the 2.75 mill operational levy passed Nov. 6 by just 44 votes.

District officials were on edge, however, until official results were certified because there were 221 provisional ballots to be counted in the district.

Once provisional ballots were counted, the issue passed by 95 votes, which was not enough to qualify for an automatic recount.

Enriquez said it really was the people getting out on election day who helped the district pass the bond issue and levy.

He said absentee voters were mostly opposed to the bond issue, while voters on the day of the election and provisional voters were in favor of the bond issue.

Board members also took a little time to look at what the levy means for the district in the coming years.

Prior to the election, officials explained that the bond issue passed by voters will enable the school district to provide the necessary match to receive funding from the state for a new elementary school.

The operating levy funds that went along with the bond issue will help the district maintain current services.

Michael Ashmore, treasurer for the district, updated board members on the financial situation now that the levy officially passed.

He said he added levy funds into the budget for next year as well as adding them into the five-year forecast.

“The new levy got rid of all the red in the forecast,” Ashmore said.

In addition, he said the district could see a surplus.

“That is nice to see,” Ashmore said. “I don’t remember the last time we saw that on there.”

Grubb said she and Ashmore have a meeting scheduled with the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which is now part of the Ohio School Facilities Construction Commission, Dec. 20 to begin planning for the new building.

Grubb said they want to keep the community involved in discussions about the new building, especially as they plan for what education will look like at the new, up-to-date school.

“We will be posting updates regularly about what’s going on,” Grubb said.

She said the updates will be available on the schools website