Board backs levy

Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education members this week voiced their support of the Apollo Career Center, which serves the district.

Apollo administrators are asking for support in the communities the school  serves with a levy on the May 7 ballot.

The money the levy is expected to raise would be combined with $23 million in matching funds from the state to improve, expand and renovate buildings and facilities, acquire career and technical equipment, and upgrade the 36-year-old school site to meet the needs of 21st century learning.

The cost to residents would be $2.56 per month.

Board member Pat Gibson said while the board had not taken any formal action, he wanted to offer his personal support to Apollo Career Center in passing its levy.

“I understand no one wants to pay more taxes,” Gibson said, explaining how great of a return on a $1 the money can bring. “There are a lot of skilled jobs going unfilled.”

He said the center is helping teach and is providing the students with the needed training for those positions.

Board member Eric McKinniss said many of those jobs that need filled are in the area and supporting Apollo is an opportunity to help create successful citizens.

“I work in skill trades and I know how hard it is to try to hire for those positions,” board member Ron Mertz said. “We can’t find anyone qualified.

“We need that school,” he said, adding that Apollo also trains public servants — police, fire and EMS personnel, which every community needs.

Board members also expressed their appreciation to everyone for their support with the bomb threat at Cridersville Elementary School on Monday morning.

“With what happened last week in Boston, we will continue to take this seriously,” Mertz said, congratulating everyone involved in the response and evacuation with the great job they did.

In other business this week, board members:

•  Extended support contracts to Apollo Career Tech program at Wapakoneta High School and West Central Ohio Assistive Technology Center membership for 2013-14 for $900.

• Donation of 52 20-pound bags of de-icer from Dollar General. McKinniss thanked the company for its donation.

• List of 28 physicians for 2013-14 bus physicals.