The Hilliard school board on June 22 is expected to approve potential requests for an operating levy and bond issue voters would consider in November.

The Hilliard school board on June 22 is expected to approve potential requests for an operating levy and bond issue voters would consider in November.

Board members discussed three operating-levy options and a $40-million bond issue for permanent improvements at the June 8 meeting.

Treasurer Brian Wilson said he would prepare operating-levy requests for three millage amounts: 4.7, 5.2 and 5.7 mills. All would be permanent.

The millage and length of the bond issue have not been determined, Wilson said.

The Franklin County Auditor's Office will determine the precise amount, he said, which in turn would determine the term of the bond.

However, Wilson said, he would structure a $40-million bond issue to increase the effective millage of all the district's bond issues by no greater than 0.25 mill.

The effective millage rate for the district's existing bond issues is 7.1mills, Wilson said.

The operating levy and bond would be presented as a single ballot issue in November.

District leaders said they would tell the Franklin County Board of Elections which of the three millage options to place on the ballot after July 6, the filing deadline for the bond issue with the Ohio Department of Taxation and the Ohio Department of Education.

The board of elections' filing deadline for the levy request is Aug. 5.

Wilson and Superintendent John Marschhausen said they are waiting for Gov. John Kasich's biennial budget that should be in place by June 30 because the amount of school funding it contains will be a factor in what millage the district seeks on the ballot.

"I think it's prudent to have several options and pick one," board member Paul Lambert said.

Wilson told board members the 4.7-mill levy request would keep the district in the black for no more than three years, while the 5.7-mill levy should last four years.

"I like the 4.7. It's lower and I think will give us community support," board member Andy Teater said.

"I think it's good to plan for three years and hope for four," Lambert said.

Although a permanent operating levy never expires, a new levy must be sought to keep the district solvent when expenses begin to exceed revenue, Wilson said.

In addition to increasing expenses, the effective millage rate of permanent operating levies generally decreases each year as property value increases, per state law, Wilson said.

The district's most recent operating levy, a 5.9-mill permanent levy approved in 2011, was marketed as a three-year levy and lasted four, but Wilson cautioned board members not to have unrealistic expectations that it can be repeated.

Wilson said he considered the additional year unlikely because of the state's complete phase-out of personal-property tax reimbursements, the unpredictability of state-funding amounts and the possibility of a hiccup in the economy.

Concerning the bond issue, Lambert asked the administration for a complete picture of the district's permanent-improvements needs.

"I still don't have a sense for our PI structure," Lambert said. "We're one of the largest and best-performing districts in Ohio and we should have a long-range horizon."

Lambert asked the administration to quantify an amount of money needed each year to maintain the district's 35 buildings.

Marschhausen said the $40-million bond issue addresses the "short-term" needs of the district by providing the revenue necessary to address immediate infrastructure needs, including roofs, doors and asphalt repairs at many of the buildings.

The district's ongoing facilities study, expected to be completed in six to eight months, would provide a clearer picture of the short-, middle- and long-term needs, Marschhausen said.

Revenue from the bond issue, if approved, would fund projects during the next five years, Wilson said.