Edison levy fails

HAMMONDSVILLE – A 9.45-mill continuous operating levy for the Edison Local School District once again was turned down by district voters during Tuesday’s special election.

According to unofficial results from the Jefferson County Board of Elections, 1,593, or 43.44 percent of district voters, voted for the levy proposal, while 2,074, or 56.56 percent, rejected the proposal.

The levy proposal, which has been turned down by district voters three times, including in November, would have funded basic operating expenses for the district, which has 1,965 students and pupils from Hammondsville, Richmond, Knoxville, Irondale, Pleasant Hill, Amsterdam, Bergholz, Empire, Stratton and other areas in the northern edge of Jefferson County. The levy would have funded district operations, including buses, building maintenance, food services, salaries, wages, benefits of employees and utilities.

The district will now have to make cuts, according to Bill Beattie, district superintendent.

“We’re going to follow through with our (district) budget recovery plan,” said Beattie, adding the district will close down Pleasant Hill Elementary School, as well as discontinue bus pickup for students in grades ninth through 12th next school year. “We’re still going to be busing the seventh- and eighth-graders.”

Beattie indicated the levy proposal probably won’t be back on upcoming ballots.

“It’s come to the point where the voters have spoken loud and clear,” he said. “It’s time for the Edison School District to make some tough choices.”

Beattie also said he believes students and pupils will be the ones to suffer the consequences of the outcome.

He noted he is hoping a new state school funding proposal being proposed by state Gov. John Kasich will lead to additional funds for the district.

“Hopefully, Gov. Kasich’s plan will give us more revenue,” he said. “We have no idea what’s going to happen with (with the governor’s plan). We’re cautiously optimistic. We’re just trying to keep our heads above water and keep moving on.”