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  Gov. DeWine Announces Cutbacks That Take $883,000 From Boardman Local Schools  
  May 14, 2020 Edition  
     Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. DeWine announced last week $775 million in reductions to Ohio’s general revenue fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 that ends on June 30.
      At the end of February and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. As of the end of April, Ohio’s revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million.
      Because Ohio is mandated to balance its budget each year, and in addition to identifying areas of savings, the following budget reductions will be made for the next two months:
       •Medicaid: $210 million
       •K-12 Foundation Payment Reduction: $300 million
       •Other Education Budget Line Items: $55 million
       •Higher Education: $110 million
       •All Other Agencies: $100 million
      “Decisions like these are extremely difficult, but they are decisions that are part of my responsibility, as your governor, to make,” said Gov. DeWine, adding “We believe that instituting these cuts now will provide the most stability moving forward, however I am greatly concerned about the cuts we must make in education. We have an obligation to our schools to give them as much predictability as we can, but if we don’t make these cuts now, future cuts would be more dramatic.”
      The cutbacks in education funding will mean a revenue loss of $883,005, according to Nick Ciarniello, treasurer of the Boardman Local Schools.
      Last July, the Ohio Department of Education said the Boardman Local Schools could expect a $410,614 increase in FY20 (7.7%) and a $167,712 increase in FY21 (2.9%), Ciarniello said.
      The impact of statewide budget cuts on Boardman Township government have yet to be determined, according to all three township trustees, Tom Costello, Brad Calhoun and Larry Moliterno.
      However, Trustee Costello did indicate the township could expect decreases in gas tax and license plate fees funds. In addition, there could be cutbacks on Ohio Public Works Commission funding, the annual provides funding for about a third of the township’s road resurfacing programs.
      “We have concerns about the states Capital Budget, yet to be approved. These are the dollars that fund OPWC, our paving program and where we were hoping for funding of the Market Street School Water Project,” Costello said. “We are working and planning to be prepared to cut about $1 million from our budget,” Costello said.
      Meeting in April, the Boardman Local School Board indicated it is interested in selling off some of the frontage at the now vacant Market St. Elementary School.
      The school system has petitioned the Mahoning County Planning Commission and the Boardman Township Office of Planning and Zoing to consolidate the Market St. property into one property and then sell that portion of the land as one parcel of commercial property.
      The school system wants to extend the depth of the lot (currently platted as two lots in a residential area) to 250 feet.
      Some local officials suggest the school board would then be willing to sell off the remainder of the Market St. School property to Boardman Township for $1.
      The township is interested in creating a passive park on the Market St. School property, as part of drainage mitigation efforts.
      Former State Rep. Don Manning reportedly was touting a $1.25 million capital grant that would have funded demolition of the vacant school.
      Since it is unknown if the capital grant will still be available due to the coronavirus pandemic, if township trustees were to accept the Market St. property for $1, there is not funding that is currently available (without grant monies) to demolish the old school.
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