The Worthington Board of Education has announced a series of public meetings to decide the size of an operating levy and bond issue it plans to place on the November ballot.

The Worthington Board of Education has announced a series of public meetings to decide the size of an operating levy and bond issue it plans to place on the November ballot.

Board president Jennifer Best estimates the levy would be about 6.9 mills and would be accompanied by a no-new-millage bond issue.
Public discussions will be held May 9 at the Old Worthington Library, May 16 at the Lazelle Woods Recreation Center and May 24 at the Northwest Library. Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Superintendent Thomas Tucker and treasurer Jeff McCuen will present information about finances and academics and then will open the floor for questions and comments from the public.

The two already have held 21 private, informal meetings with school staff members, PTAs and residents, and 14 more of those are planned.

Following a treasurer's advisory meeting set for May 8, the board will be ready to have its first public discussion at a special board meeting May 14 and probably will vote at its regular May 21 meeting, Best said.

"When we discuss things on the 14th, the treasurer will probably have a clear idea of what we should be asking for," she said.

The levy would cover losses in state income, she said.

The bond issue would provide funds for repairs, technology and buses for the next five years. The most recently approved bond issue was six years ago.

The most recent levy was the district's first incremental levy. Incremental levies increase tax bills each year for three years.

That worked out well, Best said, and the board might want to try another incremental levy.

Combining an incremental levy and bond issue also is an attractive option, she said, but one that currently is not permitted by state law.
State Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) is working on legislation to permit such a combination, she said.

The board could approve more than one option during its May 21 meeting and send several to the county auditor for approval. Later, it would clarify which option it has chosen.