DEGRAFF - With the May 5 election just weeks away, the Riverside Levy Committee held the first of five scheduled forums on April 6 at Riverside Local Schools in hopes of getting information out to the voting public about the district’s two levies set to appear on the ballot.
“We are all here for the same reason, because we are concerned for our students and our school,” Levy Committee Chairperson Tara Schultz said.
On May 5, Riverside voters will be asked to vote on a .75 percent income tax renewal as well as a new 1.25 percent continual income tax levy.
“We need the combined 2 percent in order to keep the school on even keel, which is where we need to be,” Shultz said. “We’ve been operating under the same .75 percent renewal for 14 years now. We’ve been in smooth sailing for awhile, but we’ve reached the point where we need new money to keep operating.”
As far as cuts are concerned, Riverside Board of Education President DeeDee Harshbarger informed those in attendance that the recent cuts made were done so based on the “worst case scenario.”
“There will be no additional cuts for next year,” she said. “The cuts we’ve made will get us through next year if one or both of these levies fail.”
Harshbarger also stated that in order for the board to reinstate such things as junior varsity sports, both levies must pass.
“If we don’t have both pass and we start putting back programs with just the renewal money, we will be back in the hole again,” she said. “We need to have both levies passed in order to start reinstating things.”
“In order for our school to stay up and running the way it should be, we need both levies to pass,” Shultz added.
If both levies were to pass on May 5, Harshbarger said the board will begin reinstating programs as soon as the money starts rolling in.
The issue of what will happen if both levies were to fail was also addressed.
“I can’t comment on what will happen from there … but the state will take over our school if we operate under a deficit,” Shultz said.