By Wayne Gates
A 1.95 mill countywide levy for school safety will be on the ballot this November.
The board of the Brown County Educational Service Center voted to move forward with the levy on August 2.
Superintendent Jim Frazier said that the cost to the owner of a $100,000 home would be $68.25 per year if the levy passes.
“That breaks down to about 19 cents per day. We felt that was a reasonable request compared to what we are trying to accomplish here, which is the safety of our children.”
The levy is expected to generate $1,569,825.70 from all of the property within the ESC districts.
The vast majority of the funds are expected to be generated in Brown County, but there are properties in Adams, Clinton, Highland and Clermont counties that will also be able to vote on the issue.
Only those who own property in surrounding counties that will be affected will be voting on the issue. The vote in Brown County will be countywide.
All five school districts in the county have opted to participate in the Brown County School Financing District that will administer the money through the ESC if the levy passes.
The money will be returned to the school districts at approximately $215 per enrolled student to be used for resource officers, mental health counselors and physical school security improvements. Other uses could include staff training and cameras in the buildings.
Each district will be able to use the money as they see fit.
Frazier said that increasing security measures can get expensive quickly, but the board wanted to be as reasonable as possible and still get the job done.
“The mission of our schools should be focused on education. We want to partner with local law enforcement to improve the safety of our schools and those measures take money,” Frazier said.
He added that he was pleased to see every school in the county on the same page.
“This is probably the first time that all the schools have joined together to participate in something like this. Every school and every student in Brown County should be as safe and secure as possible.”
The levy vote in November will be countywide, which means that even if the levy is voted down within a particular district, it will still go into effect with a majority vote within the county.