The Delaware Area Career Center is on the Nov. 3 ballot, asking voters to renew a 1.7-mill levy to continue its operations.
Mary Beth Freeman, superintendent of the DACC, said the levy began in 2001 as a five-year operating levy. Freeman said the DACC went to voters in 2005 and asked them to approve the levy for another 10 years and, in return, DACC officials said they would not be back on the ballot during that period.
The levy is set to expire next year, Freeman said, and once again the DACC is promising that if the 10-year levy is passed in November, they will not be back on the ballot for another 10 years.
“We kept our promise,” Freeman said.
She said the cost of the levy has not gone up since it was passed in 2001 but school enrollment and and operating costs have increased. Freeman said the DACC has been very efficient with its spending and has been responsible with funds. “We have been very fiscally prudent.”
The treasurer for the DACC, Chris Bell, said 1.3 mills of the levy goes into the general fund and 0.4 mills are fed into the permanent improvements fund.
Freeman said the levy will not increase taxes. Bell said a owner of a $100,000 property would pay $40.37 annually.
Freeman said the levy pays for the operations of the career center. If the levy is rejected by voters next month, DACC officials will place it on the ballot again in May and, if necessary, November 2016. If the DACC is unable to get the levy passed, Freeman said officials would use data to determine where costs can be trimmed.
Freeman added that the levy is not related to the upcoming consolidation of the North Campus and South Campus.
“It doesn’t affect the consolidation at all,” Freeman said. “If there were no consolidation, we would still be asking for the renewal.”
Freeman said the consolidation will combine the two campuses into one medium-sized campus to allow for more efficient operations and more taxpayer savings.
DACC officials announced the consolidation earlier this year, after a year-long study of both campuses that included community focus groups. The board decided to close the North Campus and move its programs to the South Campus with a $35 million renovation and expansion.
Freeman has stressed at several community meetings and Facebook forums that no programs will be closed due to the consolidation. Without a consolidation, $23 million in upgrades would be needed for both of the 40-year-old buildings, officials have said.
After the consolidation, the North Campus will be closed but maintained until it can be sold.
The consolidation is projected to be completed by the 2018-2019 school year.