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Hilliard voters reject levy, contract dispute goes on

Hilliard School District last night suffered a major defeat when voters rejected a crucial operating levy.

The measure would have increased taxes on a $100,000 home by about $291 a year, giving the district an additional $22 million a year. With 57 percent of voters casting a no ballot, district spokesperson Michelle Fessler says the district has no choice.

"We will have to identify four million dollars in reductions."

Fessler says the cuts will have to take effect before the next school year. She would not speculate on where the cuts may come from. The no vote comes in the midst of a dispute between the district and teachers union. Teachers last month overwhelmingly rejected the board's latest contract proposal.

The contract dispute now rests with a federal mediator. The two sides have not met since January, and district officials say they have not yet scheduled any future talks.