The Bedford Board of Board of Education has placed a 1.2-mill permanent improvement levy on the November 8, 2011 ballot. Passage of this levy will not increase property taxes. Funds may not be used for salaries and benefits.
The levy will generate about $868,000 annually for capital improvements. This includes replacing windows, fire alarm systems, public address systems, and security systems, making masonry repairs to buildings, purchasing school buses, and improving playgrounds. The funds may also be used to upgrade classroom technology, including computers, printers, and projectors, and to purchase textbooks and furniture.
Although the ballot language reads as if the levy were a request for new money, in reality this levy takes the place of bond issues that voters approved in 1988 and 1992. The first was to build the Southeast Branch Library and the second was to build Bearcat Stadium and to make improvements at Bedford High School and Heskett Middle School, including science labs, computer/business labs, and music rooms. Because 1.2 mills of the bond issue will be removed from property tax bills in January 2012, passage of the new 1.2 mill levy essentially will not cost taxpayers any more money. Currently, 1.2 mills costs the owner of a $100,000 (owner-occupied) home about $37.80 a year or about $3.15 per month.
““The Bedford Schools continue to be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars,” noted Sherman C. Micsak, Bedford Schools’ Superintendent. “In the past four years, we have made more than $8 million in cuts and every year we receive the highest level of recognition possible for our excellent accounting procedures. However, due to state cuts and increasing costs, our schools continue to have financial needs. We have only one chance to place a 1.2-mill permanent improvement levy to continue to invest in our facilities without costing our taxpayers one penny more and that time is now.”
The Bedford Schools will share more information about the levy in the coming weeks.