Urbana, West Liberty-Salem levies renewed


By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



Both renewal levies for Urbana City Schools and West Liberty-Salem Local Schools were approved by at least 50 percent margins, according to unofficial vote totals Tuesday.

Urbana’s 14.8-mill renewal levy passed by 52.4 percent; 1,938 voters approved and 1,764 disapproved. There was an estimated 44.21 percent turnout for the Tuesday election in Champaign County.

Urbana’s levy is now continuous. Voters no longer will vote on this levy. It is not the first levy district voters have made continuous; they also previously approved making the 3.5-mill permanent improvement levy a continuous one.

“On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank the community for demonstrating their support of our school system. We see this outcome as a recognition of the good work that our staff does on a daily basis,” Urbana Superintendent Charles Thiel said. “Approving this issue as a continuing, instead of a time-limited, levy will allow us to focus on the planning and design of our new schools. With this continuing renewal and the continuing renewal of our permanent improvement levy in November of 2013, we have moved from having four levies to renew on a regular basis to now only having a total of two five-year levies.”

The 14.8-mill levy is estimated to generate $2.3 million next year. It was created in 2001 when voters combined a 7.2-mill and a 7.6-mill levy.

West Liberty-Salem’s 1 percent, three-year renewal income tax levy passed with approximately 54.6 percent of the vote overall, with a total of 1117 votes for it and 930 against it in both Champaign and Logan counties. Logan County voters passed the levy with 59.7 percent approving; Champaign County voted down the levy with 51.4 percent disapproving. The combined vote was enough to ensure passage. Voter turnout was estimated at 42 percent in Logan County.

“We are obviously very pleased the community continues to support the schools and our children,” West Liberty-Salem Local Schools Superintendent Kraig Hissong said. “We never take it for granted, though this levy has been approved multiple times. We appreciate it. This levy is critical to the function of our school district.”

The 1 percent income tax levy is estimated to generate $1.3 million annually. It was first approved by voters in 1992.

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.