The Tipp City schools board of education voted Monday, Dec. 19, to take the first of two steps needed to place on the May ballot a levy combining two existing emergency levies into one that would not raise district taxes.

The proposed combined levy would be proposed to last seven years.

The board discussed options of four, five and seven years for renewals before voting to combine the levy raising $3,690,000 a year for five years and a levy raising $1,917,516 per year for four years into one seven-year levy that would generate $5,607,516.

The levies expire at the end of 2017.

With the vote, the district will work with the Miami County Auditor’s Office to certify the millage for the proposed renewal tax. At its January meeting, the school board will be asked to approve the ballot language that would be put in front of the voters in May.

District Treasurer Dave Stevens put together the numbers for the board’s consideration. “The good thing is we are able to keep the rollback and are also able to make it so there is no increase at all with this,” Stevens said.

Stevens said while looking at options he took into consideration factors including the district’s agreement with the Tipp City Education Association.

“One of the nice things of putting out a levy for seven years is we are able to cover two (three-year) contracts with the teachers’ union,” he said. “We would be able to know our funding was secure with that.”

Another plus, he said, is reducing the number of times the district has to approach voters for money.

Board President Carla Frame emphasized the combined levy would raise the same amount of money now being raised by the two levies.

“Because it is a renewal of an existing levy, we will be able to maintain the Homestead Rollback exemption for our senior citizens,” Frame said.

The only drawback she could think of would be the uncertainty that comes with each new state budget, she said.

Board member Sam Spano said after combining the two emergency levies, the district would have one other emergency levy that could be used to make income adjustments, if needed, during the seven years. That levy is set to expire in 2020.

The board also approved the hiring of the following to classified positions effective in January: Christina Durig, Regina Hogge and Jeanne Weldon, all teachers’ aides. Evan Duffy was hired as an assistant auditorium supervisor and Karl Stanberry as the head junior high track coach.

In other business Monday, the board met in a closed-door session to discuss the appointment of a public employee or official and to discuss “discipline or investigation of charges or complaints against a regulated individual in matters required to be kept confidential.” The board following those discussions took no action.