English Valleys Schools seek PPEL extension

Voters in the Pekin Community School District will not be the only ones asked to reauthorize a physical plant and equipment levy. English Valleys Schools too are asking voters to reauthorize their PPEL. First approved 20 years ago, the school district is hoping that voters choose to extend the levy for another 10 years, according to Superintendent Mark Olmstead.

“People’s taxes will not be impacted by this. They’ve been paying for this for the last 20 years. It’s just a continuation,” Olmstead said about the vote.

Olmstead credited the English Valleys School Board with keeping the overall burden on taxpayers low, noting that the district has one of the lowest area property tax rates.

“Our school board has been extremely fiscally responsible. We have improved property tax rates in the district - very, very low. As a matter of fact, we’re one of the lowest of all neighboring districts,” he said.

Olmstead added that the district has sought to use PPEL monies in manners similar to the Pekin School District: overall facility maintenance, as well as technology upgrades and bus leasing.

“We’ve upgraded technology throughout both buildings in our district, several improvements to our technology side of things,” he said. “The other thing that we’ve done in the last year deals with safety of our schools, installing cameras, security locks on all of our doors in all of our school buildings,” Olmstead added.

Olmstead likened the use of PPEL funds in maintaining the district’s facilities to owning a house.

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