On Tuesday, the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, the largest school district in terms of land mass in Ohio, will ask voters to approve a bond to cover costs of building six new school buildings and renovating one over the next three years and a 0.5-mill tax levy to help maintain those structures.
According to a 5/2 Marietta Times article, the total cost of the project is $88 million, of which, the State of Ohio has set aside 63 percent, with the remaining 37 percent up to local taxpayers. That amount will be repaid over 28 years by the bond issue.
The Switzerland of Ohio School Board signed a union-only PLA for all construction projects covered by the bond.
According to www.unionstats.com, in 2008, just 29.3 percent of Ohio’s private construction workforce belonged to a construction labor union. The number of union members is likely less than 29.3 percent of the local construction workforce because union memebrship tends to be less dense in rural areas.
ABC Central Ohio, contractors, taxpayers and concerned citizens have launched a public information campaign opposed to the use of the PLA on future school construction as it will eliminate local merit shop contractors and their employees from participating on the job and will likely increase the cost of construction.
The campaign has produced print (see below) and radio ads designed to educate the public about PLAs in the hopes that the School Board will rescind the PLA or reconsider provisions that will eliminate competition from local merit shop contractors.
If you are tired of elected officials overspending on construction and sending you the bill, contact your Switzerland of Ohio Local School Board at (740) 472-5801 and tell them that you oppose the excessive building costs of the union-only PLA.