WELLINGTON — It took a community to build an auditorium, and on Tuesday, that community came together again to pass an emergency renewal levy for the Wellington Schools.
About 60 percent of voters — or 787 voters — approved the levy, according to unofficial returns. The no votes tallied 520.
A renewal was sorely needed, according to the district’s treasurer, who predicted a five-year deficit of $4.4 million, even with the passage of a levy renewal.
Superintendent John Nolan said Wellington residents support their own, as evidence by the levy, as well as the community effort to raise $2.5 million for a community auditorium.
“It speaks volumes of the people in the community, but also of the levy campaign,” he said. “I’ve never seen a better-run campaign.”
Nolan said those who ran the campaign reached out to voters — hitting every house in the village, as well as 60 percent of homes in the rural areas. He said the focus of the campaign was on tradition, family and successful graduates.
With the levy’s passage, the owner of a $100,000 home will continue to pay $161.39 per year for a period of 10 years. The levy will provide $970,000 for the district, which will be used for operating expenses.
Nolan said the district will be fiscally responsible with its money.
“We’ll continue that process so we’re living within our means,” he said.
The money will allow the district to focus on improving academics, as well as its athletic program, he said. With an aging community, he said it’s important to attract young families to the area.
“The biggest thing is making the schools the focal point of our community again,” he said. “It’s a great area, but it can be better. We can get better at what we do without spending large amounts of money.”