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Published: Sunday, 8/1/2004

Anthony Wayne park funds on ballot

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Voters in some Ohio communities will decide whether to approve issues that would fund construction and operation of a new athletic complex in the Anthony Wayne recreation district, provide more money to maintain Defiance police, fire, and other city jobs, help retarded people and their families in Paulding County, and keep up services and property in Henry County's Marion Township.

Turnout in those areas is expected to be 25 to 35 percent of registered voters, according to county board of election directors involved.

Here's a rundown of the four issues:

  • Promoters of the Anthony Wayne Area Joint Recreation District want property owners in Anthony Wayne Local school district to approve a levy that would provide $5.55 million to build what it calls AWARD Family Park and another levy that would provide $316,350 a year to operate it.

    Plans for the complex call for 10 soccer fields, eight T-ball fields, five tennis courts, three youth football fields, and miles of walking trails. A water park with a slide and canal that visitors can float along in an inner tube have been added since voters denied funding in 2002. The recreation district has no source of income.

    On the ballot is a 0.55-mill, 23-year bond issue and a new 0.45-mill, 10-year operating levy. The issues would cost the owner of a $100,000 home almost $31 a year - about $17 a year for the bond issue and almost $14 a year for the operating levy.

    There are 16,382 registered voters in the school district in western Lucas County and portions of Wood, and Fulton counties.

  • The city of Defiance is asking its approximately 9,000 registered voters for a new, five-year 0.3-percent income tax for operating expenses.

    The city projects a deficit without making cuts because of fewer industrial jobs in the city and higher health-care costs for city employees.

    The levy, which would be expected to generate $1.2 million a year, would cost $124 a year to a wage-earner making $40,000. If it should fail, the city's emergency dispatch center is expected to be combined with Defiance County's.

    The city, which laid off seven employees last year, has a freeze on hiring and new projects.

  • Paulding County Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities board is asking the county's 13,862 registered voters for a new 2.92-mill, permanent levy for operating expenses to help make up for state budget cuts.

    The board has reduced its annual budget to $1.6 million this year, down from $1.925 million last year.

    The levy, to raise $829,000 per year, would cost $90 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home. A 3.47-mill, permanent levy request that would have cost such a homeowner $107 a year failed in March and November.

    If this week's request fails, the board is expected to cut more jobs from its ranks of 28 full-time and one half-time employees, Superintendent Victor Geib said. The board eliminated three full-time positions and made one such position half-time after November's failure.

    About 145 people receive services from the board, which include job training, help with household chores, a place to live, and specialized equipment. The board has 16 people on a waiting list for help with a job and 26 for a place to live or help with chores. Some of those on the waiting list are living with older parents.

  • Henry County's Marion Township is asking its 974 registered voters for a 1.8-mill, five-year operating levy replacement.

    The levy would increase tax bills for the owner of a $100,000 home by $19 a year to almost $57 annually.

    Contact Jane Schmucker at: jschmucker@theblade.com or 419-724-6102.



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