Friday, August 23, 2019 Elyria 59°


Joint Vocational School levy fails


PITTSFIELD TWP. — Voters on Tuesday rejected a plan to pump money into the Lorain County Joint Vocational School’s account to remake and update the building and facilities.

The 0.75-mill permanent improvement levy was defeated with 50,047 against it and 44,025 in favor, according to unofficial election results.

The levy would have generated $4.6 million annually, costing a homeowner of a $100,000 house about $26 per year. Superintendent Glenn Faircloth said the money would have been used to update the building and the labs used for the 23 programs at the school.

The list of immediate updates would have cost more than $7 million.

Almost immediately after the school board placed the issue on the ballot, one of its members, Ayers Ratliff, started campaigning against it. He was the lone vote on the school board against placing the levy on the ballot.

Ratliff spent the following months sending out letters and information about the levy, which he believes is seeking too much annually.

He compiled data from the Lorain County Auditor’s Office about permanent improvement levies for the 14 public school districts in Lorain County — although the totals he sent out to various officials and in letters were incorrect. Still, he said compared to what the JVS is seeking annually, it was “exorbitant, excessive and amounts to a greed kind of attitude.”

Neither Faircloth nor Ratliff could be reached Tuesday after the results were in.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.

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