Dublin voters could face a combined 6.94-mill tax issue for the Dublin City School District on the November ballot.

Dublin voters could face a combined 6.94-mill tax issue for the Dublin City School District on the November ballot.

The school district's administration on May 16 recommended asking voters to approve a combined 6.4-mill operating levy and 0.54-mill ($15.8 million) bond issue in the fall.

The school board must approve two resolutions before the issue may be put before voters.

After voters rejected a 7.2-mill operating levy and $25 million bond issue last fall, the district worked to cut more than $7.1 million from its budget to return to voters with a smaller tax request.

"We spent a lot of time over the past few months looking at efficiencies and listening to what voters said," district treasurer Stephen Osborne said.

During the May 16 meeting, Superintendent David Axner highlighted the district's academic successes that include being the highest-achieving district in central Ohio, according to performance-index scores on the most recent state report card.

"This issue is needed to continue the success we have had," Axner said.

"This would allow us to operate through 2016 and stabilizes the programs we have," Osborne said.

No cuts recently made will be reinstated, Axner said.

The recommended $15.8-million bond issue would fund the expansion of the commons area at Davis Middle School, where students eat their lunches, said Annette Morud, district business-affairs director.

It also would fund traffic improvements at Riverside Elementary School, upgrades to the HVAC and fire alarm system at Deer Run Elementary School and five roof replacements, asphalt and structural repairs around the district.

Morud said the $15.8 million bond issue also would make sure the district stays on its bus-replacement schedule.

Also included in the bond is a fund to replace classroom furniture around the district and make some technology improvements, such as wireless, storage and some classroom computer replacements.

The recommended bond issue is $9.2 million less than what went before voters in November, Axner said, but doesn't replace all roofs or fund every improvement needed.

"The first pretty clear direction (from voters) was to make do with what you have, in terms of space," he said.

Axner said he plans to bring a list of potential cuts to the board in September that would have to be instituted if the fall issue fails.

"We're looking at $15 million we'd need to find if this issue fails," he said.

According to information provided to the board last week, that list could include 165.5 positions across the district and affect teachers, administration and support staff and such programs as world languages, reading support, the West Bridge Academy and Power Plus program, high school busing and athletics.

Determining a list beforehand, Axner said, would let voters know what's at stake with the upcoming levy and bond issue.

"We'll do this in early September so everyone knows exactly what would happen," he said.

"This is not a threat," board member Lynn May said. "This is what would happen."

The recommend bond and levy issue would cost voters $213 annually per $100,000 of assessed property value.

The issue voters rejected last fall was a combined 7.97-mill tax issue and would have cost voters $244 per $100,000 property value each year.

The first formal vote to put the combined 6.94-mill tax issue on the November ballot is expected at the board's meeting Tuesday, May 29.