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By Carol McIntire

Carrollton school officials are going to ask voters to pass an emergency levy at the May primary election.

The Board of Education agreed during the Jan. 8 meeting to place an emergency levy on the May 7 primary election ballot to generate $1.6 million per year.

Carroll County Auditor E. Leroy VanHorne said it will take a 4.85 mill levy to generate $1.6 million per year. “That could change slightly with the new valuation and any new construction figured in with it,” VanHorne said. He said it would cost the owner of a home with a $100,000 auditor’s valuation $149 per year in additional taxes.

“The district is facing a deficit in 2015,” Superintendent Dr. David Quattrochi said when asking the board for permission to proceed with the request.

“We are in a catch 22 situation. We have great potential with the oil and gas boom and the planned well on school property, but it may take three to five years to develop. In the meantime, we have to do something.”

He said district administrators are working with both unions in the school district and are looking at a half million dollars in cuts.

“We are looking at an emergency levy to help make up for the revenue we have lost in state and federal funding,” he said, adding the levy would be for a “short term”: three-to-five years.

He said the district is in the process of putting together a levy committee and feels the effort to pass it must be grassroots effort. “We hope the community sees the need and will tell others about it,” he said.

Board member Bonnie Little asked about the cost to the district to place the levy on the ballot. Treasurer Roxanne Mazure said since it is a primary and not a special election, the cost will between $14,000 and $15,000.

Mark Thompson, parent of a child who attends Carrollton Schools, pointed out 30 percent of his income already goes to taxes. He attended the meeting to discuss another matter but joined the conversation.

“You said you are worried about school safety,” said Board Member Mike Pozderac. “We have to have money to buy cameras and monitors and other equipment to make the schools safe.”
“I’m in,” Thompson replied.

Quattrochi quickly picked up a piece of paper and a pen, asking Thompson to “jot down his name and contact information for the committee.” 

The deadline to place a levy on the May ballot is Feb. 6.

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