Voters in the Marysville Exempted Village School District will find two school levy issues on the November ballot.

Voters in the Marysville Exempted Village School District will find two school levy issues on the November ballot.

At Monday night's Board of Education meeting, the board opted to place two separate levies on the ballot -- a 5-mill replacement levy and a new 4-mill levy.

According to Union County Auditor Mary Snider, the replacement levy, if passed, will increase residential property owners' taxes by $22.30 per $100,000 of valuation. The 4-mill levy will cost homeowners $122.50 per $100,000 of valuation.

In making his recommendation on the new millage, Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said the needs of the district exceed both the additional not-more-than 4 mills recommended last week by the district's finance committee and the not-more-than-5-mills recommended by the standards committee.

"However, it's important to get something to move the district forward," he said, recommending the board opt to ask voters' approval of the new 4-mill operating levy.

Board members concurred with Zimmerman's assessment of the district's needs in the wake of three consecutive levy defeats and rounds of budgetary cuts.

"We all want the best-quality education for our students, but the financial conditions are challenging," board member Tom Brower said. "We have to listen to the community and work to achieve our goal in small steps."

Tim Schilling of Stronger Marysville, a political action group that has opposed past school levies, provided ThisWeek with a statement that explained the group's involvement in both the finance and standards committees.

He said the work of the finance committee should be ongoing, but that "until (the finance committee) can finish its task, any reaction by Stronger Marysville on the levy decisions would be premature. We are trying to give the district every opportunity to prove their financial need to the public. However, based on the recommendations of these two committees, the board's decision is consistent with the feedback from those groups."

"We appreciate the work of the standards and finance committees who worked diligently this summer to collect data that helped the school board come to (its) decision," Linda Schwyn of Citizens for Schools, the volunteer levy committee, said in a statement. "Our job now is to begin the process of helping each individual voter in our community to understand why both of these levies are crucial for our future."

Zimmerman acknowledged that passage of both issues will not completely restore all recent budget cuts.

"We need to be absolutely transparent about what will be coming back," added board member John Freudenberg.

In his statement, Schilling said the report of the Standards Committee prioritizing programs and services is not binding on the board, and therefore "until (the board states) publicly which services will be restoredÉ Stronger Marysville will have top withhold a final judgment."

Board president Jeff Mabee told ThisWeek the board will "certainly take (the Standards Committee) recommendations into consideration," but that some modifications may need to be made by the board.

"We're going to take a very conservative approach, and be very specific," he said.