Voters showed their support for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District with strong approval for the 3.85-mill levy, Issue 20 in Geauga County and Issue 67 in Cuyahoga County.

According to the unofficial results of the Geauga and Cuyahoga county boards of elections, the 3.85 mills passed in both counties with 2,162 (69.36 percent) votes for the levy in Geauga and 2,591 (68.36 percent) in Cuyahoga with a combined total of 4,753 votes in support. The district received 955 (30.64 percent) votes against the levy in Geauga County and 1,199 (31.64 percent) against in Cuyahoga with a combined total of 2,154.

The Chagrin school district is located in both Geauga and Cuyahoga counties, including South Russell, Chagrin Falls, Bentleyville and parts of Moreland Hills.

“We are very appreciative of the ongoing support [from] our community,” Superintendent Robert Hunt said. “Even during a pandemic, they have ensured the continuation of excellence within our schools. I would like to thank our levy committee leaders for their hard work and dedication.”

With the passage of the levy, the district committed at least three years before asking voters to approve another levy. Dr. Hunt said the levy is expected to bring in a total of about $1.5 million with collections starting in 2021.

The district originally anticipated asking voters to approve a 7.9-mill levy last winter. Combined with about $1.2 million in budget cuts, the district reduced the request to 3.85 mills as a result of the economic recession from the COVID-19 pandemic to replace the effective millage of a 1997 bond issue passed for the construction of the Chagrin Falls Middle School.

With the passage of the levy, voters will not see an increase in property taxes. The 3.85 mills will cost taxpayers about $135 per $100,000 of home valuation.

“Our community continues to support the things we’re doing, it allows us to continue to offer the academic programming and current staffing levels to maintain what we offer to young people for at least the next three years,” he said.

With campaigning over, he said the district can now focus more on navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects programming at the schools.

District Treasurer Ashley Brudno said with the passage of the levy, the district can continue providing “superior” education to students.

“We’re thrilled, we’re grateful to our community for their continued support. They’re always very supportive of our school district. They value the education that we provide and we take that responsibility very seriously and we’re grateful for their support and their trust.”

With the weight of the levy off their shoulders, Mrs. Brudno said the district will continue its focus on students, but now with the good news of the community’s continued support.

“It’s been a tough year, I know for everybody, so [we’re] trying to keep our kids engaged and keep them moving forward and keep progressing,” she said. “We want to relay to our community that we’re grateful for their support and their trust, and we will continue to be good fiscal stewards of their tax dollars.”

Sam Cottrill started reporting for the Times in February 2019 and covers Auburn, Bainbridge, Bentleyville and Chagrin, Kenston, Solon and West Geauga schools. She graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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