United voters reject improvement levy

HANOVERTON- United Local residents have said no to a permanent improvement levy, according to complete but unofficial results.

Voters Tuesday night defeated the 3-mill continuous permanent improvement levy 661 (58.91 percent) to 461 (41.09 percent). The levy would have generated $376,700 annually for projects that extend the life of the item by five years, such as boilers, windows and roofs.

Schools Superintendent Steve Viscounte said the board will have to decide how to proceed considering the defeat, but remained optimistic.

“We have to huddle back up and see how the board wants to approach it,” said schools Superintendent Steve Viscounte. “But to me, 200 votes, swing 100 votes and you’re in good shape. Obviously we were hoping to get it through the first time, but I’m certainly not deterred…if the board is willing to go that route (another attempt).”

In addition to safety measures such as security gates, a new door system and enhanced lighting, the levy would have funded purchases such as text books and buses and projects such as parking and building renovations, relieving pressure on the general fund, Viscounte noted.

Those building renovations are not going away, either, he said.

“Sooner or later voters are going to have to decide,” he said. “Things are going to start breaking down and there’s only so much (money) in the pot.”

The board attempted the permanent improvement levy in an attempt to address costs of renovations to the K-12 campus after residents twice defeated a bond issue for a partially new school in 2011.

Kevin Howell can be reached at khowell@salemnews.net