Voters will decide on Twinsburg school renewal levy

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Twinsburg Tigers

TWINSBURG -- The renewal of a 10-year, 5.12 mill renewal levy for the Twinsburg City Schools will be among several issues on the May 4 ballot.

The levy generates just under $5.2 million per year for the district and makes up about 10.4% of the district's fiscal year 2020 operating budget, said Superintendent Kathryn Powers.

"The primary purpose for the Twinsburg Board of Education to seek renewal of this levy is to maintain the excellent educational programs and opportunities for our students," Powers said. "The district will continue to monitor expenditures and seek additional opportunities to trim expenditures where possible."

Powers stressed that this levy, Issue 6 on the ballot, is not a new tax. 

According to records from the Summit County Board of Elections, the levy was last approved by voters in November 2010 as a 10-year, 5.03-mill issue. 

Treasurer Martin Aho said the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $156.80 annually, less than when the levy first appeared on the ballot 20 years ago, when it was approved at 6.9 mills. 

"Due to HB920 the mills have been reduced to 5.12 mills to collect the same $5 million as it did 20 years ago," Aho said. "This levy still receives the Homestead /Rollback reduction of 12.5%." He added that new levies do not receive the Homestead/Rollback reduction.

Powers said that in 2021 voters will see the expiration of a 2.5 mill bond issue that was used to construct the current high school, which was opened in the winter of 1999.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Committee has started working on helping pass the renewal levy, Powers said. The three chairs of the committee are Walter Hoffman, Reminderville Village Councilman; Seth Rodin from the city of Twinsburg; and Keith Harris from Twinsburg Township. Steve Cribley is treasurer.

Board vice president Mark Curtis said the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges with fundraising.

"We typically have a big pancake breakfast to help raise money but obviously, this is a challenge under our current circumstances," Curtis said, "We want to be sure people understand that this is a renewal levy and isn't new operating funds, but existing operating dollars that we need to continue providing the high quality education people have come to expect."

According to the annual report filed Jan. 19 by the Blue Ribbon Schools committee with the Summit County Board of Elections, their balance on hand is $11,130.

Hoffman said the subcommittees for the Blue Ribbon Schools were formed recently for tasks such as distributing signs and writing letters to the editor. He added that the six-week campaign they were running "is much shorter than it normally is."

Powers said that those interested in learning more about the Blue Ribbon Schools Committee should email blueribbonschoolscommittee@gmail.com.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com