Campaign for Bond Issue Shifting Into Gear
Volunteers still needed to help 'get the facts out to the community'
The campaign for the Strongsville Schools' $81 million bond issue is off and running.
Phone banks will start calling homes today. The Citizens Committee for the Bond Campaign will call households betwen 5:30 and 8 p.m. through Thursday, then again next week, Monday through Thursday.
"We need to contact voters to tell them about the need (for the bond issue)," schools Business Manager Mark Donnelly said.
Supporters have launched a Facebook page called Vote For Strongsville City Schools.
And on Saturday, volunteers will swarm with city, armed with information about Issue 116, in a "Walk and Talk" event.
"We're going to be in as many neighborhooods as we can," said Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone, who helped develop the bond issue plan. "We want to get the facts out to the community and not let people hear it from someone else."
Anyone willing to walk can show up at the campaign headquarters, a donated storefront at 16488 Pearl Rd., in the Echo Plaza, by 10 a.m.
The bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot would pay to build a new middle school on the site of the existing Center Middle School; make major renovations and technology improvements at Strongsville High School; and make safety and other repairs to elementary schools.
"I think everyone agrees we need new school facilities in Strongsville," Carbone said. "People will be able to see their money going to good use."
Timing of the issue is considered crucial because most homeowners would not see much of an increase in taxes. Here's why:
The $81 million, 33-year bond issue would cost homeowners $95 a year for every $100,000 in home valuation.
But because other bond issues that currently cost $77 a year are expiring, homeowners would see their taxes rise only $18 a year per $100,000 of home value.
For the average homeowner, the cost would be about an extra $2 a month.
"This is an opportunity we won't have again," Carbone said. "Bond rates are low, construction rates are low and we have money we can recapture."
The advantage of new schools? Higher property values and an estimated $2 million a year in operating savings by combining two middle schools into one, proponents say.
"It will make homes in Strongsville more marketable," Carbone said. "And for senior citizens and everyone, it will save millions in operating money over the years."