PANDORA/GILBOA — Pandora-Gilboa Schools received good news Tuesday night. The renewal levy the district placed on the May 4 special ballot — the only issue before county voters — passed.

As a renewal, residents of the school district won’t see any new tax, which offered some level of reassurance for district officials. Even so, the levy is fundamental to the district’s continued financial stability.

“It’s a large part of our operating income,” District Superintendent Todd Schmutz said. “It generates roughly $900,000 per year.”

With state support for public education remaining relatively static for years, the dollars generated through the levy are key.

“Generally our local income makes up half of our total income; even a little bit over half,” Schmutz said. “So it’s critical to our operation in order to enable us to maintain necessary staffing and preserve all of the excellent educational opportunities for our students.”

As a renewal and not a new tax, the opportunity for success significantly increased. But, as a single issue special ballot in an off year, the issue could have gone either way. Voter turnout could have thrown a wrench in the gears.

“We’ve tried to get it out there,” Schmutz said. “We’ve got signs around, and that’s about the only reason we put signs up. We sent out information, we’ve got it on our website and our Facebook pages.”

Still, at 10:30 this morning, only 32 residents of the Village of Pandora and neighboring Riley Township had cast their votes. At 4:30 p.m., even though that number tripled to a little over 100, it represented just 10% of the registered voters — 1,057 — in that precinct. At the end of the day, with just a total of 267 voters turning out, 178 district residents supported the levy, with 89 voting against.

Still, it proved more than enough; a gratifying win for the district.

“We thank the voters for their continued support,” Schmutz said. “We will be able to sustain the educational opportunities our students deserve.”