serves as our 3rd communication to inform
you on the progress of the K-8 facilities
initiative. Since our last letter, the
Board officially passed a resolution to have
the levy supported by a combined income and
property tax. This issue will be
placed on the November 2014 ballot. You will
also find detailed financial information
about the cost of the project and the cost
to the individual district resident.
Lastly, we have provided a copy of the
ballot language exactly as it will appear on
the November 2014 ballot. Please take a few
minutes to review the information below:
What is the
cost of the project?
Benton’s share of the funding is comprised
of standard building costs of $14,458,300
and essential LFI’s (locally funded
initiatives) totaling $5,245,700. Our
LFI’s include needs that are specific to our
district such as additional classroom space
to meet curriculum, upgrades to flooring and
roofing, a district bus garage and land
You will note
an increase in the total project cost from
the last letter to this one. The
increase is due to a final estimate being
provided by the Ohio Facilities Construction
Commission 3 days after our last letter.
The levy request
will be a combined property and income tax:
0.25% income tax beginning January 1, 2015
for 23 years
Any and all
funds collected from the .25% income tax
will be deposited in a permanent improvement
fund to be used for the purpose of permanent
improvement, including debt payments.
5.0 mill, $13,500,000 property tax for 23
years, collection in calendar year 2015
Over time, if the valuation of the district
increases the tax collection per homeowner
How much will the
new building cost me?
For property tax
purposes, farmland devoted exclusively to
commercial agriculture may be valued according
to its current use rather than at its "highest
and best" potential use. This provision of Ohio
law is known as the Current Agricultural Use
Value (CAUV) program.
You can visit the
auditor’s website to find your current appraised
value of your property.
How much am I
currently paying for the High School building?
The levy was
originally passed in February 1994 for
$8,200,000 at 7.6 mills.
Current mills collected =
3.42, which is lower than the original millage
as the valuation of the District has increased
Last collection will be
What will the
ballot question look like?
LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
TAX AND BOND ISSUE
Affirmative Vote is Necessary for Passage)
Shall the Liberty
Benton Local School District be authorized to do
both of the following:
Impose an annual income tax of one quarter
of one percent (0.25%) on the school district
income of individuals and estates, for 23 years,
beginning January 1, 2015, for the purpose of
general permanent improvements?
Issue bonds for the purpose of
constructing, adding to, renovating, remodeling,
furnishing, equipping and otherwise improving
school district buildings and facilities and
acquiring, clearing, improving and equipping
their sites in the principal amount of
$13,580,000, to be repaid annually over a
maximum period of 23 years, and levy a property
tax outside the ten-mill limitation, estimated
by the county auditor to average over the bond
repayment period 5.0 mills for each one dollar
of tax valuation, which amounts to 50 cents for
each $100 of tax valuation, to pay the annual
debt charges on the bonds, and to pay debt
charges on any notes issued in anticipation of
What will be done
with the old K-8 building?
If a new K-8
building is built the old K-8 building and
associated land will be sold. We will be
evaluating the various means and methods related
to how the building could be divested and will
settle on the option that creates the most value
for the District. Any proceeds from
the sale of the property will be spent towards
The Liberty Benton
Board of Education Members,
President; AJ Granger, Vice-President; Tom
Miller; Dana Morgan; Vern Strong
Superintendent; Lisa Dobbins, Treasurer
July 11, 2014
This letter serves as our second of many
communications to update you on the progress
made on the K-8 facilities initiative. Per
last month’s communication we established our
forward direction as the following;
The District needs a new K-8 facility.
The District wants the facility to be located on
one campus (at the current High School
The District should fund the initiative by the
way of a combination of property and income tax.
The District should be on the ballot in November
for public consideration.
Since our last letter, we have spent a good deal
of time working with our current engineering and
architecture consultants, Garmann Miller, to
update our build versus renovate analysis. This
analysis was last completed by the firm, The
Buehrer Group, in support of decision to build
during our past two bond issues. Garmann
Miller’s updated analysis validated the former
Buehrer study revealing that the cost of
renovation would be just over $19.3 million
dollars (see attached schedule of costs).
A significant portion of this cost (over $8
million dollars) is to construct permanent space
to replace the existing modular classrooms.
The current estimate to build a new building by
using the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission
(OSFC) framework would be approximately
$32,304,480. Our local share would be
$19,590,412. Building new is nearly the
same as the cost to renovate after the state
share is calculated in.
At a near even cost to the district, building
new allows many goals to be accomplished
including meeting or exceeding state minimum
guidelines for classroom sizes with available
storage and accessibility, new technology and
design, sufficient support facilities including
layout of restroom and kitchen facilities as
well as lower maintenance costs due to new
construction and materials.
So what has changed since our last ballot issue?
The state share of our project has moved from
45% to 47%.
The cost of materials for building has increased
by 2% per our building consultants
Bond prices have remained flat
New building cost is lower than the November
2013 request for $19,704,000
In June, the Board took action in its public
meeting to “lock in” the State funding share
mentioned above. In the July meeting, the
Board anticipates passing a resolution that will
call for the levy to be supported by the
combination of income tax and property tax as
opposed to 100% property tax. Specific details
of the resolution will be part of the public
agenda and minutes and also reviewed in our next
August letter. We appreciate everyone’s
feedback and engagement in the process.
Yours in Education,
The Liberty-Benton Board of Education Members,
Scott Rhodes, President; AJ Granger,
Vice-President; Tom Miller; Dana Morgan; Vern
Jim Kanable, Superintendent
Dear L-B Community:
a letter dated March 10, 2014, Liberty-Benton
district residents were invited to participate
in an open discussion regarding school district
affairs. We wish to thank everyone who
participated in our recent small group coffee
sessions and our state of the schools meeting.
This process was very enlightening for us as a
school community. Your time is valuable and we
appreciate your willingness to share your
thoughts and insights.
As a brief recap, we were
able to meet with over 300 residents on key
questions concerning our K-8 building needs.
There were many opinions and insights shared
with us and we appreciate and respect each and
every one of these. However, amongst those
who participated, there was a strong majority
consensus on four items:
a new K-8 facility.
District wants the facility to be located on one
campus (at the current High School location).
District should fund the initiative by the way
of a combination of property and income tax.
be on the ballot in November for public
addition to the above, the community meetings
revealed that there is a desire from our
stakeholders to be better informed about the
process and details of a building project as it
progresses through time. To this end and as a
starting point, we will provide you with this
type of communication on a monthly basis as we
embark on the process of addressing needs
surrounding a K-8 building. In this
manner, we will all be working with the same
information which will allow our community to
move this process forward together.
The first step the Board of
Education will take towards advancing the
participants’ indicated desire to build a new
K-8 facility will be to pass a resolution that
will allow the District to bring this issue to
the November 2014 ballot. The Board of Education
will meet on June 16th at
6:00 pm for its regular public meeting and this
will be included on the agenda for Board action.
We thank you again for
investing your time in
our schools and for our students.
Yours in Education,
The Liberty-Benton Board of Education Members,
Scott Rhodes, President