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Importance of Chagrin Levy

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On May 2, Chagrin community members will be asked to pass a levy which will increase taxes and additionally increase maintenance and build a new Intermediate school. There are two parts to the levy; part of it is an operating levy. This operating levy covers usual operating costs such as air conditioning, pavement maintenance, roof work and repairs, building envelope and window improvements, and plumbing systems and updated restrooms. The other part is the renovation of the Intermediate School. The second part of the levy aims to revamp the 102-year-old Philomethian Street that will get new renovations.

Speaking on behalf of the intermediate school, the first part of the levy, “One interesting feature that we are particularly excited about is a ‘shared use concept.’  By partnering with the local arts organizations, we are able to leverage the existing gymnasium and auditorium and add a new cafeteria to create a space that will benefit our students during the school year, as well as the arts community after school hours,” said school board member Sharon Broz on the expected renovations. The Intermediate School, upon passing the levy, will undergo renovations to meet new-age requirements the historic building currently does not meet.

The bond levy, the second part of the levy, covers usual operating costs. Social studies teacher and community member Brian McKenna said, “The main part of the levy is making sure the school will operate as it normally does, the second part of the levy will allow a fund that is used each year to keep buildings up to date which we haven’t been able to do in the past.”

Another priority for getting the levy passed is that all of our communities schools need to increase the budget for facility maintenance and pavement improvements, “…Provided the voters approve the ballot issue on May 2, 2017, all the funds needed to complete the project will be secured,” said Sharon Broz.

The Intermediate school isn’t the only one getting a facelift, the 7-12 campus will receive HVAC replacements for “improved room temperature consistency,” according to the One Vote Chagrin website. There will also be roof work and repairs, building envelope and window improvements, and plumbing systems and updated restrooms.

A total of 8.9 million will fund all of the renovations the community will need for at least the next three years. If the levy passes, the property value of the home in Chagrin will increase by approximately $26 per month for each $100,000 of county appraised property value, according to One Vote Chagrin website.  

According to McKenna, “We have received the Arts Grant, through the state of Ohio and that will allow part of the facility to be used by the historical society, by the film festival, and the String Arts Group and they can utilize the auditorium.”

“In the past, I know that the school district has had to start cutting teachers right away. And the other biggest thing is that we won’t be able to renovate the intermediate school,” said  Levy Committee member Janelle Ranieri, “The reason people move to our school district is for our school system, so it keeps our property values high. This is a school district where people want to move so kids can go to school here.”

The levy will increase fundings for all schools to keep them up to par. “[the levy] gives us the funds to keep operating and on of the other things we are going to do is part of it is they are going to increase funds that go for capital improvement every year. Which is typically $400,000 a year to keep up the schools. And if this new levy is passed that will go up to $1.1 million dollars a year, which will help us keep our facilities in shape,” said Ranieri.

If the levy doesn’t pass, there is speculation that the levy committee will go to the voters

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Importance of Chagrin Levy