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Revere won't take any chances

By John Published: January 20, 2011

By Jody Miller
Special to the Beacon Journal

BATH TOWNSHIP: The Revere school board has decided to go ahead and place two identical issues on separate ballots.

The board had already decided to seek the renewal of an existing levy on the Feb. 8 special election ballot.

Since the deadline to place an issue on the May ballot falls six days before the special election, the board has opted to take no chances and also place the issue on the latter ballot.

''Although the board is confident the community will support this levy, this is a due diligence step on our part,'' said Revere Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer David Forrest. ''This levy is 14 percent of our general fund revenue and a significant
dollar source for the district.''

If voters approved the levy next month, Forrest said, it would be removed from the May ballot.

The levy raises about $4.5 million a year. It costs the owner of a $100,000 home $128.27 a year.

The board also has opted to ask voters again in May to reconsider a new levy voted down in November. The district is seeking a 10-year, 4.85-mill emergency operating levy that would raise $4.7 million annually.

Forrest said the district has made cuts that would allow it to wait for the money for the new levy, should it be approved, to begin to be collected in 2012. They include a waiver to hold off on the state-mandated all-day kindergarten and the decision not to replace four staff members leaving the district at the end of this year.

''We can stay at the same millage [as the November levy attempt] because these two actions would reduce our expenditures by $3 million,'' Forrest said.

District officials predicted dire consequences should both the renewal and new levy fail.

Among the steps that would need to be taken include the reduction of up to 65 employees, increased class sizes, fewer programs offered, a reduction of Revere's 24 required credits for graduation to the state minimum of 21 and the potential elimination of cocurricular activities and athletics without substantially increased pay to play fees.

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