Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 6, 2014

80 votes gives Concord the budget boost it needs

DUNLAP — Voters in Concord Community Schools Corporation approved a property tax increase referendum Tuesday by a vote of 1967-1887.

“I’m very pleased,” said Superintendent Wayne Stubbs. “I’m appreciative and everybody in the community who voted for it and the steering committee that made a big difference. I’m looking forward to moving ahead.”

A last-minute glitch in the electronic balloting caused extra-time of waiting for Stubbs.

The supervisor at the Northside gym voting center in Elkhart forgot one of the 12 memory cards in the machines, and a last-minute run was made to retrieve the card. There was about 150 votes on the memory card and the referendum was leading by less than a 100 votes at the time. It ended up passing by just 80 votes.

The card held the final numbers that created the good news for Stubbs and the Concord Community Schools.

“It’s huge (the win). I’m excited,” Stubbs said. “It’s not going to affect the kids and that the bottom line for me. We had to increase class sizes and now we can get make the classes not so crowded. We can get transportation smoother. It’s a big plus for us. We can start making some adjustments next year. We’ll still have to be careful about expenditures because we won’t see the money until 2015.”

The financial impact will be minimal for residents, Stubbs said.

“A person who has a $100,000 home, after their deductions, mortgage exemptions, etc., that comes out to about an $11 a month increase, about the cost of a pizza each month,” Stubbs said. “This is not to build anymore buildings, add on to any buildings ... this is basically operational costs needed to be able to maintain our existing buildings moving forward.”

Voters approved an additional tax levy of up to $0.405 for every $100 of assessed property value.

The superintendent says the additional tax levy will bring in just under $4 million in additional funding for the school corporation each year, or about $28 million over the course of the levy’s seven-year lifespan.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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