Switzerland of Ohio levy bid gets boost

WOODSFIELD The Permanent Improvement Levy Committee of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District received a check for $1,500 from the Ohio Association of Public Employees that will go toward the promotion of the district’s proposed levy in the November election.

OAPSE is the union that represents the bus drivers, cooks, secretaries and others. The check was presented to Clint Abbott, treasurer of the PI Levy Committee, by Jason Clutter, president of OAPSE. The money comes from payroll deductions.

The PI Levy is for permanent improvements that the school district needs that will last for five years or longer. There are four main areas in which Switzerland of Ohio School District officials plan to invest the money, if this levy passes, and these are textbooks, transportation, technology and equipment for Swiss Hills.

The bulk of this levy will toward transportation, including the purchasing, repair and maintenance of school buses. Switzerland of Ohio is the largest school district in Ohio in terms of land mass; it covers 546 square miles. Buses travel more than 5,000 miles a day to get students to and from school and that does not include the extra activities.

“These are very hard miles,” said Clutter.

Currently, out of the district’s bus fleet are buses that have been around since the late ’80s, early ’90s and are still being used. These buses have traveled more than 300,000 miles. A new bus will cost $83,000.

Money from the PI Levy cannot be used for anything else. This will go toward improving the schools for the future. None of this money can go toward any other projects, such as building new schools.

“Money stays in the district now where the money is being spent,” said Larry Elliott, Switzerland of Ohio superintendent. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the kids.”

Van Dyne can be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com.