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Published: 4/29/2009

East Toledo voters to face levy requests

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Voters in three east-side communities will consider levy requests Tuesday, although most replace existing funding - and one actually is a reduction.

Rossford has two recreation and two fire department levies on the ballot, all of which are five-year renewals. One Rossford fire department levy does have a 0.5-mill increase that would cost a resident with a $100,000 house another $15.31 a year.

Both Northwood Local Schools and Genoa Area Local Schools, meanwhile, have permanent improvement levy renewals. Northwood Local, however, is slightly lowering its request, saving residents with $100,000 houses $3.62 a year, and it wants to change to a continuing levy.

Northwood Local is a year or two away from making a decision about new facilities, and one requirement for getting funding from the Ohio School Facilities Commission is having a continuing permanent improvement levy, said Northwood Superintendent John Clark.

Plus, changing to a continuing permanent improvement levy will help eliminate "levy fatigue" among voters, Mr. Clark said. The 1.75-mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $53.59 a year, down from $57.21 a year with the 2.5-mill levy it is replacing, while maintaining about $224,000 in revenues.

"By making the change from the renewal to a levy that's continuing, we won't have to come back every five years," Mr. Clark said.

In Rossford, the ballot has two levies for the fire department, which together would raise about $308,000 a year. The 0.6-mill levy would continue to cost a Rossford resident with a $100,000 house $15.94 a year, while the other levy would be a total of 1.5 mills and increase such a resident's annual cost from $26.57 a year to $41.88.

The ballot also has two separate 0.4-mill levies for Rossford recreational purposes up for renewal, which combined would continue to a cost a resident with a $100,000 house $15.70 a year. Together, they would raise about $88,000 a year.

Rossford's 1.5-mill levy would be used to replace the fire department's 1977 ladder truck and, toward the end of the levy's five-year span, its backup ambulance. The city is trying to rotate ambulances so they last about 10 years, said Edward Ciecka, city administrator.

Genoa Local voters, meanwhile, will be asked to renew a 1.8-mill permanent improvement levy for five years. That will cost the owner of a $100,000 house $27.45 a year, and it will raise $160,000 annually.



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