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Planning for Growth (Bond Issue)


Key Information on Nov. 7 Ballot Issue for Big Walnut Local Schools

The November 7 ballot issue for our schools is an important one and we want our residents to be informed. Below are some key points about our situation as we approach the November 7 election:

How are we addressing any overcrowding right now?

As overcrowding occurs, we will do one of the following, depending upon the situation:

  • Allow class sizes to increase
  • Purchase/renovate trailers to use as classrooms
  • Bus students around the district to where there is room

Can’t we just make the growth work with doing all of that?

No. The growth is here and only continuing at a steady pace. We need a long-term solution to a long-term issue.

In addition, the above solutions present concerning safety issues and stress our operating budget. In fact, with the growth headed our way, we would need approximately 67 classrooms provided by trailers over the next eight years. That’s a cost and safety inefficiency that we cannot afford.

What is on the November 7 ballot for our schools?

A combined bond and permanent improvement levy, two issues combined into one vote. The bond will be for 37 years and will appear on the ballot for 6.6 mills, although we anticipate the millage to decrease after this year’s reappraisals. The permanent improvement levy will be continuing for 1.25 mills.

What will the bond issue provide?

A new high school and additional elementary school as well as security upgrades to our existing buildings. The remaining grades would be switched once these buildings open according to the following: 

What will the ballot issue cost me as a homeowner? Will the issue collect at the ballot millage?

The total millage for the combined ballot issue is 7.85 mills. This amount includes 6.60 mills for the bond issue and 1.25 mills for the permanent improvement levy. Based on estimated growth of property value in the community and a plan of finance that phases in the bond issue debt during four separate years, the school district does not expect the full amount of 7.85 mills to be collected early in the repayment schedule. The following are estimated millage amounts and costs per $100,000 of market value during the first few years and eventually may reach the ballot amount toward the end of the 37-year repayment.

If the bond issue passes, will the district ask for additional operating funds?
We have shared in multiple communications that we do not plan on asking for an increase in operational money, but we do plan on asking for a renewal of our Substitute Replacement levy in 2020. This issue was initially passed in 2010 as a $4.9M levy and was renewed in May of 2015 as a Substitute Replacement levy. These revenues grow as new folks move into the district and our base 20 mills of operating millage also grows as new homes are built. We also have an income tax that increases as folks move into the district. Between this growth and the approximately $3M we receive from the AEP Vassel substation, we do not anticipate asking for an increase in operating funds (unless the state would drastically change our funding formula). Even with the income tax equivalent in millage, with the passage of the ballot issue we would continue to have one of the lowest tax rates in the area. 
 Big Walnut residents pay a low tax rate and get a great value from their schools


Please check back between now and election day for additional information on our ballot issue or view our Eagle Examiner. Please email any questions to facilitymatters@bwls.net or call 740-965-3010.