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River View plans to put income tax levy back on spring ballot

| November 15, 2019

WARSAW – The failure of River View’s income tax levy in the Nov. 5 election still makes board member Larry Pepper’s heart ache.

“When I found out this went down I felt like I was kicked in the gut,” he said. “Every year I’ve been on this board we’ve looked at how we spend our money, how we can get the biggest bang for our buck, how we can hold a little bit back and keep ourselves fiscally sound. We cannot not put this back on (the ballot) and up in front of people to give them another opportunity. We have to do what’s right for the kids. I still believe in the people of this district.”

The .75 % income tax levy would have been for five years and would have generated around 2 million dollars. The amount would have only replaced what was being lost by the upcoming closure of the AEP Plant in Conesville. The board, however, has the option of putting the levy back on the spring ballot for voters to once again decide on.

“I just hope people realize the impact they have had on kids over the years,” Pepper said. “If we have to dismantle the education system that we have here you are not helping kids. We’d be taking away opportunities for them to get a great education like they have been getting. We don’t want to take a great school to just being mediocre.”

Board member David Lapp added that the district has been very fortunate to have the AEP Plant, but now it’s time to take care of the kids a different way.

“If I bleed from this it will start out green, but then I bleed black and gold,” Lapp said.

Board member Cordell Brown agreed that they need to keep the children in mind.

“We hurt the greatest asset that the Lord entrusted us with and that’s our children,” he said. “I don’t think we have a choice. If we really care about our young people we’ve got to put this back on the ballot. For 50 years we’ve had a free ride (with the power plant) and now it’s time for us to pay.”

Board member Brent Porteus said they need to work on getting more people to understand what the board is dealing with and about reductions they’ve already made over the last 10 years.

“The education here is as efficient as anywhere else you go and we already pay less than other communities,” he said.

Superintendent Dalton Summers agreed that having another few months to educate the public would be beneficial.

“If there is one thing we know how to do it is to educate,” he said.

Before turning the meeting back over to Summers to wrap up his superintendent report, Board President Dan Hothem added one last comment.

“I don’t think there is anything more important to a community than its education system,” he said.

The next step will be creating a resolution to get the levy back on the ballot for the March 17 primary. The board also will be working on its five year forecast and a plan for reductions in case the levy fails again in the spring. Those reductions, if necessary, would be implemented during the 2020/2021 school year.

A special board meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 a.m. in the administrative building for the five year forecast and to get approval of a resolution declaring the necessity of an income tax levy for the River View Local School District.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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