By CECILIA FOX
Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 8.5.12
TIPP CITY – City, township and school officials met July 30 for the third quarterly Tri-Agency meeting to discuss the upcoming school levy and current construction projects.
On the ballot this Tuesday, Aug. 7, is a 5-year 7.95-mil emergency tax levy for the Tipp City school district. If it passes, it will generate approximately $3,079,646 a year.
“We need the levy to pass to help us remain strong,” Assistant Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said.
According to the school’s website, the district will be working with $3,487,392 less in the upcoming fiscal year than in 2011.
This year, the school district is facing a $700,000 cut in funding from the state. The state previously cut $1.3 million from the district’s funding for this past school year, which lead the school to reduce staff and increase activity fees, among other cost-saving measures.
Taxpayers who own a $100,000 home can expect to pay $243 in taxes each year the levy is in effect. One of the district’s new cost-saving measures takes effect this school year.
The schools are redistricting, moving kindergarten and first grade to Nevin Coppock and second and third grades to Broadway. The move will allow the district to make cuts in staff. Classes will consequently be larger, with nine sections per grade level instead of 10.
“It’s a savings for our district. I think we’ll still have good quality services for all our students,” Kumpf said.
The first day of school this year is Sept. 4.
City and Monroe Township officials traded construction updates at the meeting. Both groups had street resurfacing projects to tackle this year. In Tipp City, this year’s resurfacing projects have been completed, the first resurfacing work since 2007. Hyatt Street was the largest street resurfaced, along with Weller Drive, Franklin Street, a Kyle Park parking lot and a few downtown alleys.
The street resurfacing projects will continue over the next nine years in Tipp City.
In Monroe Township, according to trustee Philip Cox, the first phase of resurfacing is now complete on Worley Road. The second phase will be completed next summer.
Tipp City Manager Jon Crusey explained the work on County Road 25-A.
“Those of you who have been on 25-A have seen a lot of activity out there. Our contractor is in the process of constructing Abbott Park Way,” Crusey said.
Contractors have extended the water and sewer lines up past 25-A and are now beginning to run them along Abbott Park Way. As part of the deal that brought Abbott to Tipp City, the city is responsible for the construction of Abbott Park Way and for extending the necessary utilities to the site.
The utilities must be in place by the end of August and the asphalt must be laid by the October.
“At this point the contractor is on schedule and the weather has been fairly cooperative, so we don’t anticipate that we’ll have any problems there,” Crusey said.
Work on the I-75 southbound exit 69 ramp is underway, according to Crusey. The southbound ramp is expected to be closed between 60 and 90 days during construction. New diamond style ramps will replace the old cloverleaf style ramps. A new traffic light and a designated turning lane will also be added.
Crusey also discussed the new Tipp City Fire ladder truck. He said it should be arriving in late December, but that the city will need another local fire department to house it for a while. According to Crusey, before the rest of the fire station is renovated, the department will probably have to make one of the bay doors bigger so they can move the new ladder truck in. The fire station is in the design stages now, and will be out to bid this winter.
The school district and Monroe Township have both recently refurbished their tennis courts. The schools’ courts were cracked with age but suffered further damage last September when a storm snapped off power lines behind L.T. Ball Intermediate and hit the fence surrounding the courts. Because they had become a safety issue, the courts required a complete overhaul. The fencing was replaced, the old asphalt dug up and replaced. The new courts were painted green and blue, like the U.S. Open courts.
Construction on the new courts began in May and finished “on time and on budget,” according to Kumpf. The funding for the district’s new tennis courts came from Good Samaritan North/Upper Valley Medical Center and from insurance for the storm damage.
The township’s tennis courts at Deerdale Park were also resurfaced earlier this year.
Tipp City will begin work on their tennis courts in the next few weeks, Crusey said.