Voters Reject New Bremen Levy

NEW BREMEN — More than 1,500 New Bremen residents turned out to vote Tuesday, turning down a $13 million school levy for a new elementary building.

Voters rejected the $13 million bond issue for a new K-8 facility 61.07 percent to 38.93 percent. Interim Superintendent John Basinger said he was disappointed in the results.

“We are obviously disappointed about the outcome on this bond issue,” Basinger said. “The bond issue as structured was obviously not what our community would support. We are saddened because we know what a positive impact this new complex could have on our students and our community.”

Basinger thanked those who supported the levy and worked hard on the levy campaign.

“On behalf of the New Bremen Board of Education, our administration team and all of our staff, I would like to thank the community members who did support this bond issue to build a new K-8 building,” he said. “I particularly want to thank our community Levy Committee, chaired by Cathy and Doug Hall and Robert Parker, the Levy Committee treasurer, and all the other community members who were so instrumental in the levy campaign.”

Basinger said the board of education will regroup at its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 14, to determine what the district’s next step should be.

“We will be having conversations with our board of education at the next meeting and we’ll develop a plan,” he said. “Obviously, this is not what our community members wanted, so we’ll have to figure out what they do want.”

He said he is not sure if the district will pursue placing the levy on the ballot again in November, as the deal will the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) will have expired.

“There are several complications with that,” Basinger said. “We would have to redo all of our work with the OSFC.”

The proposed K-8 facility, which was co-funded by the OSFC, had a local share of $13 million, costing homeowners $19.27 a month for a $100,000 home. Passage of the levy would have secured $6.845 million from the OSFC for the new building.

The proposed building, which was to be placed to the west of the high school, featured updated technology, security, lighting and temperature control.

Board of education members pursued the issue after holding a community meeting in September 2011, where a survey, which was issued to 150 residents in attendance, showed 86 percent in favor of the new facility.