2007-12-08 / News

State releases $17 million for Liberty Union

COLUMBUS - State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) announced last week that $17,149,100 in state funds has been released for the Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District. Funds will be used to build a new elementary/middle school that will house grades 5 through 8, as well as for renovations to Liberty Union High School, which houses grades 9 through 12.

District voters will be asked in March to approve an approximately 3 mill levy to raise the $6 million balance needed for the local share. The exact millage for that levy will be set Monday night at the Liberty Union-Thurston Board of Education meeting. The state is paying 60 percent of the cost for the district's facility improvement plan, while district taxpayers are responsible for the 40 percent balance.

The actual cost to district taxpayers will be significantlyless than the estimated three mills since the current current 1.59 mills for the high school bonds comes off at the end of this year.

The district now has one year to raise its share in order to cash the state's $17,149,1000 check.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) approved Liberty Union-Thurston for the funding of accelerated construction and renovation using funds approved by the General Assembly in the recent state budget bill.

Schaffer fought for increased school construction monies in the state budget bill this year for projects just like these. He also passed an amendment to help school districts that were being delayed in getting construction funds, but the Governor vetoed the amendment.

"Since the beginning of our efforts to improve schools for our children through the OSFC, districts in our region have continually been moved further down the list," Schaffer said. But thanks to the funding we've added to the school construction budgets, more school children will soon benefit from safer and improved schools.

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