SCHOOL BOARD Treasurer: Libery district nears fiscal caution status

A levy that would raise $1.7 million is on the May ballot.
LIBERTY -- The Liberty Local School District will enter fiscal caution status in the next 30 days, Treasurer Tracey Obermiyer told the school board and assembled citizens Tuesday night.
Obermiyer explained that the district had submitted a financial solvency plan to the Ohio Department of Education and the department had sent in consultants to do a review of Liberty's finances.
The next step is for the state to declare Liberty in fiscal caution, the first category through which the state identifies potential financial trouble ahead.
Trouble ahead is not news to the Liberty school board. Last month it placed a levy on the May ballot to raise about $1.7 million in operating funds. The district expects to be $334,198 in the red by the end of the school year and projects an $800,000 deficit in the 2005-06 school year, if no cuts are made or the levy doesn't pass.
The consultants came up with a similar figure; they project a deficit of $332,821.
Three previous pleas for more money, in March, August and November 2004, were dismissed by voters.
The next step
Under fiscal caution Liberty schools must write a step-by-step plan to correct its deficiencies.
Superintendent Lawrence Prince told the board he expected to have a list of potential budget cuts completed in the next 10 days and personnel from the Ohio Department of Education will be doing a staff analysis.
In other business, the board unanimously accepted the resignation of food service supervisor Roberta Hopkinson, effective at the end of the school year. Board President Robert Lackey briefly thanked her for her excellent work and said they would take notice of the retirement at a later date.