June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Official voting tally OKs Highland’s levy win

The close vote changed for two levies on the May 3 ballot, but the result was the same — a win for Highland Schools and a tentative win for the Medina Township Police Department.

With official results in Wednesday, the vote on Medina Township’s police levy remains close and there will be a recount on Tuesday, according to the Medina County Board of Elections.



Voters approved the 1-mill replacement and 2-mill additional levy by four votes — 554 to 550.

There will not be a recount for the Highland operating levy, which passed by 23 votes.

On election night, Highland’s 6.9-mill levy was passing in Medina County by 17 votes and the township police levy by just two.

Police Chief David Arbogast could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The police levy will bring in a little more than $1 million a year and cost property owners $94.50 a year per $100,000 of appraised value, according to the Medina County Auditor’s Office.

Arbogast has said levy revenue will be used to fill two full-time vacant patrol officer positions next year.

Besides Arbogast, three patrol officers, two sergeants and one clerk comprise the department.

Since 1999, the department partially operated on revenue from a 1-mill levy. It also was subsidized by the township’s general fund.

Of Highland’s win, Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said waiting for the official results wasn’t easy.

“Fortunately, the final results have solidified the majority vote in favor of Highland Schools,” she said.

The 6.9-mill operating levy passed by 2,904 votes to 2,881.

“It has been 12 years since the passage of a new operating levy and we are so grateful to all of our Highland supporters for finally making the passage of the levy a reality,” she said. “This issue was necessary to keep our school district and community strong. We can now continue to provide the quality education that our students and community rely on and expect from us.”

The May 3 levy is expected to bring in about $4.6 million annually over 10 years.

It will cost Highland property owners $217.36 a year per $100,000 of appraised property valuation, according to figures from the auditor’s office.

In April, the Highland teachers union and administrators agreed to pay more for health benefits over the next two years, saving the district $1 million.

Contact Liz Sheaffer at (330) 721-4060 or lsheaffer@medina-gazette.com.

About Liz Sheaffer