SHEFFIELD — Residents OK’d a plan to combine three existing levies into one larger continuous levy — ending multiple trips to the ballot box for renewals and providing the hoped-for financial stability for Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Schools.
Issue 6 was approved Tuesday night 785 to 693, or 53 percent to 47 percent, unofficially.
Superintendent Mike Cook said it’s been a stressful few months since going forward with putting the levy on the ballot. He said he wasn’t surprised by the closeness of the vote, but he couldn’t predict which side would come out on top until the votes were tallied.
“I’m appreciative of all the help of the community and staff that worked to get this passed,” he said. “This really is huge for the future of this district and I am truly excited for the fact that we can plan ahead and know that we can count on the money we get anyway.”
The substitute levy has a combined millage of 19.88 and will generate $6.179 million annually. The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $636.78 annually. Those aren’t new costs, Cook said, as the levy is just the combination of other levies. However, it could bump up the total collected for the district as new construction will be taxed at the new rate.
The issue combined a $2.3 million, five-year emergency levy passed in 1995 and renewed three times; a $1.89 million, five-year emergency levy passed in 2005 and renewed twice; and a $1.98 million, five-year emergency levy first passed in 2015.
Cook said the combined issue was done to minimize voter fatigue — the three emergency levies all would have had to have been renewed in different years — and provide financial stability for the district. Avon Lake Schools did something similar in 2018 — which also passed.
Cook said he was glad to receive the community support that he did but also hopes the rest of the voters who opposed the issue may come around eventually. Cook said some voters have voiced concerns about the substitute levy being continuous, but he said the money is needed as it provides a third of the district’s annual budget.
“I think that they will see that it was in the best interest of the district and ultimately that’s what we want is for everyone to feel good about what’s going on in the district and feel that they can be supportive,” he said.
Moving forward, the superintendent said there isn’t any new projects he plans to announce, and he’ll just be happy to have peace of mind if or when there is growth in the district.