Dublin Villager

Issue 48

Revenue to keep district in black through 2015-16

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A five-year forecast was approved by the Dublin Board of Education last week that showed a deficit by the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The passage of Issue 48, however, would ensure funding through the 2015-16 school year, District Treasurer Stephen Osborne said.

Dublin City Schools will ask voters to approve a combined 6.4-mill operating levy and $15.87-million bond issue -- Issue 48 in Franklin County -- on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The tax issue, district officials have said, will fund the district through 2016.

The bond portion of the issue would fund maintenance, equipment and technology around the district in addition to improvements to the Davis Middle School commons area, the traffic flow at Riverside Elementary School and new HVAC and fire alarm systems at Deer Run Elementary School.

If approved by voters, Issue 48 would cost homeowners an additional $213 per $100,000 assessed home value annually.

The five-year forecast approved by the board of education last week did not include any potential levy funds, per state law, Osborne said.

"It was without because we cannot submit it to the state with any pending issue," he said.

Without Issue 48, the district's ending cash balance is expected to decrease from $25.8 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year to $6.3 million the next year and then go into deficit spending by $21 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The ending cash balance would likely be less, Osborne said, because the district might have to use general fund revenue to cover items that would have been covered by the bond portion of Issue 48.

"When you look at the five-year forecast as is for 2014-15, (the ending cash balance) is $6.3 million," he said.

"That would be reduced by probably $1.5 million to $2 million for items we include in the bond issue, but wouldn't have the bond issue for."

Dublin City Schools usually funds construction, improvements and maintenance through bond funds, but would have to fund any needed improvements through the general fund, Osborne said.

"About $2 million would have to come out of that to cover items we right now cover in bond funds," he said.

If Issue 48 is approved by voters next month, Osborne said, the ending cash balance would increase to $33.4 million at the end of the 3013-14 fiscal year, $23.9 million in 2014-15 and $8.7 million at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

"That's including collections that would start in January of 2013 should the levy pass in November," Osborne said.

The district tries to keep a 30-day cash balance on hand, but is expected to fall below that despite levy passage or failure.

Osborne said it wouldn't be unusual to fall below the 30-day cash balance, even if Issue 48 would pass.

"That's typical at this point," he said. "We're still three years out.

"The 30-day cash balance is around $15.5 million but (the $8.7 million ending cash balance) is four years until we get to that point," Osborne said.

"It's very consistent with where we usually are with millage when we ask for a levy."

Issue 48 follows a failed combined bond and levy issue proposed in 2011. Last fall, the district asked voters to approve a 7.2-mill operating levy and $25-million bond issue.

After the rejection, the district cut about $7.1 million from its budget.

If Issue 48 is rejected by voters Nov. 6, the district is planning to institute $10 million in cuts.

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