Buckeye officials detail May 7 emergency levy

RAYLAND – A 2.1-mill, five-year emergency levy proposed by the Buckeye Local School District is on the May 7 ballot for voters’ consideration.

Buckeye Local has more than 2,000 students and pupils serving Yorkville, Tiltonsville, Rayland, Smithfield, Brilliant, Dillionvale and Adena.

The levy proposal, if passed, would generate $630,000 annually for the three elementary buildings and high school. The funds would be used for safety upgrades at the district, according to Mark Miller, superintendent.

“The levy is basically about safety for our pupils and students,” said Miller. “We’re trying to take a pro-active approach.”

Miller said after operating expenses there are little funds left over for safety upgrades.

The levy would fund a slew of upgrades, all designed with students’ and pupils’ safety in mind, said Miller.

According to information supplied by the district, resource officers would be stationed at each building, and building upgrades would include doors, lighting, additional cameras, a secured roof hatch, a security alarm system at West Elementary School and alarm repairs and interior door locks at the junior high and high schools, according to the information.

The district also would install an “alert now” system notifying staff and parents of any emergency, and districtwide telephone and 911 radio upgrades also would be part of the improvements. All buses would be equipped with 911 mobile radios that could contact the agency instantly instead of just dispatching to the district headquarters.

“We want school bus drivers to have instant access to (Jefferson County) 911 at any time,” said Miller.

Any communications also would be on a secure channel, and security cameras would be installed on each school bus as well.

Development of staff with an emphasis on safety also would be part of the package, with staff trained for a variety of emergency scenarios, according to officials. The district also would hire a school psychologist and three social workers to help deal with student/pupil issues.

“Maybe these professionals could determine a problem and intervene before a police officer would have to take action,” said Miller.

The district would hire a safety director to establish safety procedures for staff, students and pupils. Funds also would be set aside for any student/pupil who may require counseling services at local agencies.

The total estimated revenue raised over five years would be $3.15 million, while estimated safety expenses would total $3.1 million, said Miller. An additional $36,000 would be used for any unforeseen safety issues, he added.

A residence with an estimated $70,000 market value in the district would cost the home owner an estimated 12 cents per day, or $3.75 per month, if the levy were to pass. Those with a Homestead Exemption on a residence with an estimated $70,000 market value would pay 8 cents per day or $2.41 per month, according to estimates from the district.

For information, call (740) 859-2196.