BARBERTON: To show support of Barberton City School District, City Council will tonight Monday to endorse the upcoming $3 million levy.
If the 8.45-mill, emergency operating levy does not pass on May 7, the schools will have to cut about $1 million in art, music, foreign language and sports.
Reductions in state funding and the devaluation of real estate in the city have led to about $4 million in losses of operating funds. The five-year levy, Issue 3 on the ballot, will only replace lost revenue.
Also up for vote Monday will be a new computer legal research fund for fees collected on criminal, traffic and civil cases filed in the Barberton Municipal Court.
The courts are allowed to collect up to $10 to computerize the court and clerk of courts office and up to $3 for legal research. However, in the past the court never collected the $3 for research.
“We paid the cost of securing the research through the court computer fund,” said Susan Sweeney, chief deputy of the clerk of courts office. “At this time the board is interested in collecting that $3 to pay for legal research.”
If passed, the court cost will increase $3 and Sweeney said they expect to gain between $25,000 and $35,000 a year from it.
Monday’s agenda will also see an amendment to the city’s “Trees, Weeds & Grass” ordinance, creating concrete penalty charges for those who neglect their properties and require the city’s attention.
“In theory, if someone was occupying your home and we had to post and cut the grass we would take you to court,” Building Commissioner Jim Bauschlinger explained. “What we discovered was the wording is very vague in what we would charge. We simply filled it in.”
The ordinance as it is now reads, “Such costs are to be determined by the Building Department based upon actual costs incurred, and provided to the court.”
If passed, the ordinance will add concrete amounts of $100 per hour, per city employee using riding equipment, $75 per hour, per person using hand-held equipment and $50 per property administrative and processing fee.