Brookfield Board of Education said it will place a 1.9-mill permanent improvement levy on the November ballot.
The levy, if approved, would be good for five years and raise about $250,000 a year.
A property owner with property assessed at $100,000 would pay another $66.50 a year in taxes, said district Treasurer Craig Yaniglos.
“I think it improves our chances, having a five-year, right now,” school board member Tim Filipovich said, comparing a five-year term to a continuous levy. “There’s definitely a need to do some major things, like the bus garage, we have the middle school, technology.”
The board is trying to decide whether to rebuild all or part of the bus garage on Grove Street, and has learned that shifting shale underneath the middle school is causing walls to crack and the floor to rise. Board members also have talked about the need to buy more computers and otherwise upgrade technology.
A permanent improvement levy cannot be used for day-to-day operations. It can be used for long-term items, such as buses, textbooks, computers and building repairs.
The board instructed administrators to develop a plan for spending the money, which will become part of the levy campaign. A levy committee is forming around Chairman Monica Fortuna.
“People want to see things done,” said board member George Economides. “It’s going to be imperative that we’re very, very clear on what we want to get done and, if we say, the first year, something’s going to get done, it has to get done.”
Economides added that he hopes voters understand that a recent bond refinancing actually will reduce school millage by 1 mill. The levy would actually only raise taxes by 0.9 mills from what people were used to paying.
“It’s going to be a challenging sell regardless, because the mood of society today is not increasing taxes,” Economides said. “But, I think it’s well worth it. I’ll support it totally. I think this is a good plan and gives the board an option to, like you said, prove itself to go ahead and do the things we said we’re going to do. Lord knows, we need it.”