Crestwood Local School District adds 4.8 million emergency levy to ballot

Erin Hopkins

The Crestwood Local School District is putting a 5-year, 4.83-mill emergency levy on the May 2 ballot.

The levy will be used for district operations, including bussing, books, utilities and teacher salaries.

Superintendent Joe Iacano said in an e-mail that the levy will raise 1.375 million dollars per year for five years. It will account for 6.5 percent of the annual budget.

Treasurer Carol Corbett said although this is the fifth time an operating levy has been on the ballot in the last two years, no new operating money has been received for more than 10 years. This levy last failed in November by less than 200 votes.

“Crestwood last requested and received additional operating money from the taxpayers in 1992,” she said. “So we have managed our money well and haven’t been back to the voters for 13 years or so. State funding is not keeping up with inflation. The only way to increase our money is to ask the voters for it.”

If the levy passes, Iacano said full transportation will be restored to students in the district.

“Currently we only bus students in grades kindergarten to eight who live two miles or more from school,” he said. “This (levy) would restore bussing for other kindergarten through eighth-grade students and all high school students.”

William Guegold, president of the Board of Education, said the district would also reduce pay-to-participate fees.

It is currently $300 to participate in high school extra- and co-curricular activities such as band and athletics.

If the levy does not pass, Corbett said the board will probably have to look at additional cuts. But Guegold said no actions will be taken immediately.

“What we’ll probably look at first is putting (the levy) back on the ballot in August,” he said.

The levy would cost about $154 dollars a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

“If this doesn’t pass, it is not going to be educationally beneficial for anyone,” Corbett said.

Guegold agreed.

“I believe education is a community priority,” he said. “I hope the community can come forward and help with this.”

Contact public affairs reporter Erin Hopkins at [email protected].