XENIA — The Beavercreek school levy has officially passed in Greene County, according to a state-mandated recount, but school officials are waiting on Montgomery County’s election officials to recount the two precincts where the levy was soundly defeated.
The Greene County Board of elections held the official recount Thursday, passing the levy with 8,038 for the levy and 7,951 against it, leaving a margin of victory of just 85 votes.
Two additional uncounted absentee ballots were found and added to the total, according to Llyn McCoy, Deputy Director of the Greene County Board of Elections.
Those ballots, which added two “yes” votes to the total, were mangled in the postal system and had to be reconstructed, McCoy said. The pieces had been put in a folder and not counted in the official Nov. 19 count.
Montgomery County will hold its recount for the levy, which was voted on in two precincts there, on Friday. Those two precincts showed 141 voters voting for the levy and 196 voting against.
McCoy said Montgomery County officials do not anticipate any changes in their vote totals, but the election will not be certified until the recount is completed in both counties.
If those Montgomery County vote totals hold, it will put the levy on the passing side by just 32 votes.
School board member Mick Lundy said he felt “pure excitement” with the news.
“We cannot be anymore excited,” said Lundy. “The later the day got the more nervous I became. It is so important and so critical that we have this money for the school district and I can’t wait to move forward without worrying about getting a levy passed”
Issue 19, which could potentially raise $10.4 million per year for the district over the next five years, passed 8,177-8,147, a mere 30 votes, triggering an automatic recount, according to the official Nov. 19 vote count.
According to the precinct report provided by the Greene County Board of Elections, the levy won in 22 precincts and lost in 23 precincts, sometimes by the smallest of margins.
The district last passed a school levy 10 years ago.
Beavercreek Schools have enacted $13 million in cuts and cost saving measures over the last two years, measures that have included reducing salary and wage expenses by 12.5 percent, from $46.3 million to $40.5 million.
The district has also reduced teaching staff by 10 percent, administrative staff by 12 percent, and support staff by 8 percent.
Cuts to staff have totaled 75, equivalent to an entire elementary school staff, according to the district web site.
Busing has been eliminated for all high school students and there have been deep cuts to academic programs.
“I want the public to know we will be good financial stewards of the taxpayers money,” Lundy said. “We realize that the just as many people were against the levy as were for it. We do need to be cautious. Out goal and our focus is to make our schools be as good as they possibly can be.