School levy sought in Springboro

For the first time in three years, the Springboro Board of Education took the first step toward asking voters to approve a property tax levy.

With Jim Rigano absent, The board voted 4-0 on Wednesday for a resolution declaring the necessity for a levy renewing one that currently raises $9,270,300 a year, about a quarter of the district’s budget, and asking county auditors to certify how much millage is needed to raise that amount.

“It’s step one of a two-step process. We thought we’d get it under way,” Board President Kelly Kohls said.

The board needs to pass another resolution by Aug. 7 to set the millage and place the issue on Nov. 5 ballots.

The board then quickly moved into executive session to discuss contract negotiations with teachers and support staff, without offering a roomful of parents and teachers a chance to comment or ask questions.

Parent David Hurlburt said he attended the meeting, his first since moving to the district, in response to an email. A Facebook post by Springboro United for Responsible Education, a group advocating for teachers in the contract negotiations, urged residents to attend to see that the board moved for a levy equal to the one expiring at the end of the year.

Hurlburt said he hoped to get answers to questions he and his neighbors have about the district’s direction.

“This meeting didn’t do that,” he said.

Voters in the district have rejected five consecutive issues seeking new operating funds, but approved the last proposed renewal in 2008.

It would be the third levy on ballots for voters in the part of the school district also served by the Franklin-Springboro library district. The library district extends throughout Franklin and Springboro, Carlisle, Franklin Township and includes the part of Clearcreek Township west of Bunnell Hill Road.

Like the school renewal, the proposed continuing 1 mill library levy is not expected to raise taxes. The levy would continue a five-year, 1 mill issue expiring this year that costs $30.60 for every $100,000 of property value and raises $1,109,650 a year.

Also, voters in Clearcreek and Springboro are to see a second try for a 4.5 mill levy for new funds to operate the fire and ambulance service in the district. If approved, property owners would pay an additional $137.81 a year for every $100,000 in property valuation.

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