LEAVITTSBURG — An official vote count on the LaBrae Local School District’s 3-mill, five-year replacement levy won’t be known until today when the Trumbull County Board of Elections meets to certify results from the Nov. 7 election, but the board of education gave first reading Monday to place the original 3-mill renewal on the March 19 primary ballot.
Unofficial results showed the levy passing 1,046 to 1,040 — a six-vote, 0.28 percent margin of victory. There are 19 provisional and 13 late-arriving absentee ballots that must be counted, according to elections board Director Stephanie Penrose.
An automatic recount could be done if the margin of victory narrows further after those votes are tallied.
LaBrae Board of Education President Russell Sewell said if the replacement levy’s victory holds, the first reading on the renewal levy will be rescinded at the next meeting.
Superintendent Anthony Calderone said if the replacement levy fails, the board will give second reading on the renewal levy at the December meeting to make the deadline for the March primary. Calderone said if the replacement levy passes, it will bring the previously passed permanent improvement levy from 1984 valuation at 1.55 mills up to 3 mills.
Calderone said he plans to be at the board of elections for the certification today.
“We want to be ready pending the outcome of the results,” he said.
He said the replacement levy would generate $374,000 annually and the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $105 per year.
Funds from the levy are used for renovating, remodeling, rehabilitating, furnishing and equipping school buildings and improving the four school sites.
Calderone said the public will not begin to pay on the replacement levy until March 2025 after the community’s debt is completed for the building of the new LaBrae school complex, which Calderone said will have major components that need replaced, including the complex’s chillers.
Calderone said LaBrae Intermediate School soon will need a new roof. The revenue also will go toward addressing foundational issues and a “dire need” to repair the district’s bus garage.
Calderone said he believes the public wants to see the district’s facilities well cared for and the levy revenue would allow the district to do that.
At Monday’s meeting, Calderone and Treasurer Brad Panak said the district is still able to use ESSER funds that the district received during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 for a literacy coach, substitute teachers and other positions.
Calderone said as less ESSER funds remain, more funds will taken out of the general fund to cover costs for those positions.