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Published: Wednesday, 9/12/2007

3 levies to appear on ballot in Nov.

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

One village and one school district in Ottawa County are asking voters headed to the polls in November to approve levies giving them the same amount of funding that they've received over the past few years.

The Elmore Village Council wants voters to approve two renewals on Nov. 6 - one for the maintenance and repairs of its streets and alleys, and another for current operating expenses.

The Genoa school board is looking for voters to approve a tax levy for current operating expenses in the Genoa Area Local School District, and it has placed a three-year, 3.9-mill levy on the ballot to reflect that.

Collection of money for all three issues, if approved, would begin in 2009, Ottawa County Auditor Jo Ellen Regal said.

In Elmore, Mayor Lowell Krumnow said street maintenance sometimes gets placed on the back burner simply because there aren't enough funds to get the job done.

That's why he's hoping that voters will renew the village's three-year, 3-mill levy for streets and alleys.

"There are never enough funds to maintain the streets and alleys, but we do the best that we can," he said. "It's one of those things that if you drive around our town, we are in pretty good standing, but if anything else comes along, some streets do get neglected."

If passed, that levy will raise $67,000 annually and continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $84 a year, Ms. Regal said.

Funding from the other levy that Elmore has placed on the ballot - a five-year, 3-mill renewal for current operating expenses - will go into the village's general fund.

Fiscal Officer Sheri Hayes said money that comes out of the general fund pays for expenses in the police department and the parks and salaries for village employees, among other expenses.

"It's just mostly .•.•. our day-to-day operations," she said.

Ms. Regal said the levy willraise just more than $60,000 a year and continue costing $73 for the owner of a $100,000 owner-occupied home if voters pass the measure.

Over in the Genoa school district, school board members are asking voters for a renewal, instead of a replacement, so they don't have to put more of a burden on district taxpayers, board member Leslie Wyse said.

But if it's not passed, he said that something would need to be done so the district sticks within its budget.

"If we don't continue to get this money - because it's not new money - then we will have to cut back and scale back our educational quality. That's all there is to it," he said.

If passed, the levy will continue to raise $588,240 a year for the school district and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $113 a year, Ms. Regal said.

The last time the district was on the ballot asking for general operating funds was in November, 2006, when voters narrowly passed a three-year, 3.9-mill tax levy.

That levy raises about $600,000 a year and helped the district avoid a projected deficit.



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