Why does Sidney City Schools need a PI levy?

Editor’s note: In preparation for the Nov. 8 general election on which the Sidney City Schools has placed a permanent improvement levy, the Sidney Daily News will publish a weekly question dealing with the levy and what it means to the district. The questions and answers have been provided by the PI levy committee.

SIDNEY — On Nov. 8, 2016, Sidney City Schools will be asking voters to pass a deeply needed 3.0 mill permanent improvement (PI) levy for five years to maintain current facilities and equipment. The district is making this request to our community because they want to keep students secure and comfortable in their learning environments and equip them with the technology and tools they need to be successful. At the same time, this levy will allow the district’s budget and operations to become even more effective and efficient.

As a result of the absence of a PI levy, which expired 2009, PI expenses have been funded through the general fund. Since 2012, $1,450,000 has been transferred from the general fund to cover specific PI expenses. Pending and known PI expenses over the next five years average $1.18 million per year and include things such as bus purchases, boiler replacements, roof repairs, etc. Through solid financial decisions and reduced costs in key areas, the district has a positive cash balance, however, it is imperative that we reestablish a permanent improvement levy.

The Sidney City School District is proud of its seven school facilities. Built 65 years ago, Emerson, Longfellow and Whittier Elementary Schools, for example, have been so well maintained that many in the Sidney community find it hard to believe the lengths the district goes to and the growing, costly expenditures required keeping them in such order. In the future, Sidney City Schools will be forced to consider new school buildings, but that day is not yet upon the district, mostly because of the way the district has maintained its schools.

More information and answers to other questions about the PI levy can be found on Citizens for Sidney Schools website at www.sidneyschoolslevy.org.