Bexley voters will likely be looking at an operating-levy proposal for funding their school district when they head to the polls in November.

At the Bexley Board of Education meeting Jan. 7, board members unanimously expressed agreement to pursue placing an operating levy on the fall ballot, directing district Treasurer Kyle Smith and Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller to complete the necessary research to determine the appropriate millage.

The last operating levy, a 6.5-mill issue, appeared on the ballot in November 2010.

Since then, the district's enrollment has grown and financial conditions have changed, board President John Barno said.

"I believe we have over 100 new students in our district this year," he said. "Our operating costs are going up, our student enrollment is going way up and our funding is going down and our revenues are reducing."

Barno said the board isn't going to consider any millage amounts until May, when Smith submits the state's required five-year district forecast with financial projections.

Smith said he anticipates presenting an updated five-year forecast that will contain both the financial projections and millage options.

"Having this discussion will allow a committee to form and start doing preliminary work," Smith said.

Voters approved a 1.38-mill permanent improvement levy in November 2016, which did not increase taxes due to debt-payment restructuring. Permanent improvement levies are only permitted to be used for capital-improvement expenditures such as a new track, roof repairs, boiler replacement and other building repairs and major equipment purchases.

Bexley voters also approved a 0.75 percent income tax in 2004. An income tax is used for operating expenses such as salaries, insurance, instructional supplies and utility bills. The income tax accounts for approximately 20 percent of the district's total operating revenue, Smith said.

At an organizational meeting prior to the board's regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 7, board members voted unanimously for Barno and Snowdon to continue in their roles as president and vice president, respectively, throughout 2019.

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