The Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education will meet Thursday night to consider formally halting all construction at the consolidated campus and discuss the next step for the repeat of their renewal levy.
The board will consider approving a suspension of agreements between the DACC and SHP Leading Design and Elford Inc, the design firm and construction company working on the DACC’s consolidation project at the south campus.
The potential suspension of agreements comes months after the DACC learned it would not be receiving any money from a renewal levy that was passed by voters in 2015.
In 2015, voters in Delaware County passed the DACC’s renewal levy by 10,644 votes and the DACC would have begun collecting taxes this January from Delaware County, as well as small portions of Union, Morrow, Marion and Franklin counties.
However, DACC officials learned in December that the Ohio Department of Taxation would not be approving the levy because 1,026 voters who live in Franklin, Marion, Morrow and Union counties were not able to vote on the levy when it was on the ballot.
The Delaware County Board of Elections has taken responsibility for not placing the levy on the ballot in those four counties.
The DACC appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court and asked that the court order the Department of Taxation to approve the levy because all of the potential votes from the other four counties could not have caused the levy to fail even if all the voters had voted against the levy. However, the court did not order the levy be authorized.
After the court’s decision in March, DACC Superintendent Mary Beth Freeman said the board would have to suspend construction after the new addition to the south campus became structurally sound with a roof and walls.
If approved, the suspension would stop all work at the consolidated campus until the DACC regains the lost funds.
The board will also discuss placing a repeat of the renewal levy on the ballot this fall.
Alicia Mowry, public relations supervisor for the DACC, reported last week that local State Representatives Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) had authored a House bill that would create an extension of the renewal levy in Delaware County and would only place the levy back on the ballot in the other four counties.
Mowry said the bill, House Bill 124, passed the House floor on May 17 and was passed the House Ways and Means Committee several weeks ago. Mowry said the bill is currently being reviewed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee and if it passes there it must be passed by the Senate and then sent to Governor John Kasich for approval.
Mowry said the bill must pass by June 30 to take effect in time.
On Monday, Mowry said that the DACC board is working on placing two renewal levies on the ballot in November; one levy for Delaware and the other four counties and one levy just for the other four counties. Mowry said the DACC is submitting both levies, but will remove one after the state legislature makes a decision about House Bill 124.
The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the DACC’s south campus.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.