Worthington school district voters likely will see an incremental operating levy and a $40 million, no-new-taxes bond issue on their November ballots.

Worthington school district voters likely will see an incremental operating levy and a $40 million, no-new-taxes bond issue on their November ballots.

All but board member David Bressman seemed to lean toward that option at the end of a special board work session July 18.

The operating levy would be 4.9 mills in 2013, 5.9 mills in 2014 and 6.9 mills in 2015 and in following years.

"We all know we need a levy," said district treasurer Jeff McCuen, who said he would place the incremental levy and the bond issue on the agenda for a vote Monday, July 23.

The bond issue would allow the district to spend $40 million on capital upkeep and improvements over the next five years.

Five or six new buses a year would be purchased; technology would be replaced and a technology plan developed; and an extensive list of repairs would be made to facilities.

The operating levy would fund the existing program for the next three years.

The board also considered a 6.9-mill continuing operating levy, but McCuen and Superintendent Thomas Tucker recommended the incremental levy instead.

"Under either of these scenarios, it is safe to say there will be no cuts for budgetary reasons," McCuen said.

If a 6.9-mill levy were approved, the district would end 2016 with a balance of $24.2 million. With the incremental levy, the ending balance would be $19.1 million, according to McCuen's projections.

Board president Jennifer Best agreed the incremental levy would be best for the community, considering the financial times. The most recent levy approved in Worthington also was incremental.

"It doesn't confuse this community; they get it," she said.

Bressman said he does not like incremental levies and preferred the 6.9-mill levy and a bond issue that would run as a separate question, giving voters more of a choice. He said he hopes that in three years the district does not face either a large levy or major spending cuts.

With the incremental levy, the bond issue must run separately, according to state law.

Board member Charlie Wilson said he fears voters would approve the bond issue and reject the operating levy.

"I think we are setting ourselves up for going through this again in May," he said.

Having two issues on the ballot will not be a problem, said board member Marc Schare, who committed to supporting the incremental levy.

"I think we should treat the voters of Worthington as if they're adults who are capable of finding two ballot questions," he said.

Board member Julie Keegan said she prefers a 6.3-mill operating levy to run as one question with the bond issue, but that was not one of the options on the agenda. She said she also has concerns about two separate issues on the ballot.

At one point during the meeting, Wilson shouted at Schare over an unrelated point.

After Wilson said he opposed requiring physical education in the schools, Schare asked in jest if they could get that issue on an upcoming agenda now that Wilson has changed his mind.

Wilson jumped out of his chair, slammed his hand on the table and shouted, "The notion that I changed my mind is absolutely wrong. I never, ever changed my mind on that, and your suggestion otherwise is absolutely unappreciated."

Best called for a meeting recess, and Schare apologized to Wilson.