School District Responds to Ormet Potline Closure - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

School District Responds to Ormet Potline Closure

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School officials at the Switzerland of Ohio School District say they could lose more than $100,000 if Ormet were to completely shut down.

It isn't good news for a school district that's already facing financial problems.  As parents are handed pink slips from Ormet, the district recognizes this could affect their enrollment numbers.

Switzerland of Ohio School District Treasurer Lance Erlwein says the school collects $110,000 in property taxes from Ormet that goes into their general fund.

"What's more devastating to us is the indirect effect," said Erlwin.  "If that plant were to shut down that's the 1,000 families that either have to tighten budgets or leave the area to find new jobs. When they go they take their wages with them, they take their children with them, it's just a downward spiral that effects not only the school district but the entire community."

State funding is dependent on enrollment. Switzerland of Ohio School district is home to three high schools and several middle and grade schools and they, like many other districts, are not in a position to take cuts to their general fund.

"It's $110,000 we can't stand to lose," said Erlwein.

District Superintendent John Hall says  it's more than just losing the money though.

"This is more about the individual losses than it is a district loss because we know that those individual losses will be bigger to us than the corporate loss," said Hall.

Hall says school and community are tied together.

"We all know a friend or a family member that's going to be hurt or hurting because of this closure," said Hall.

Switzerland of Ohio School District had an operational levy fail in the May elections and will have it back on the ballot in November.

Ormet announced they are closing their two remaining pot lines after not receiving the reduced rate they asked for electricity.

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