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Published: Sunday, 11/6/2005

Municipalities ask voters to OK safety funding

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Swanton is seeking a 0.5 percent increase in the municipal income tax earmarked for police.
Swanton is seeking a 0.5 percent increase in the municipal income tax earmarked for police.
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Several local governments are going to voters Tuesday asking for tax support for fire and police departments.

Swanton is seeking a 0.5 percent increase in its municipal income tax which, if passed, will be earmarked for the police department.

The department needs to add about three policemen to equal the manpower of jurisdictions of Swanton's size, Police Chief Homer Chapa said. As the city continues to grow, it is important that its safety forces keep pace, he added.

The city income tax is now 1.25 percent, and the sought-after increase would raise about $440,000 annually. It has been about 15 years since there was an increase in the city income tax.

Oregon is asking voters to approve a five-year, 0.5-mill property tax renewal to help fund new equipment and salaries for the police department.

Police Chief Tom Gulch said the levy was originally passed to hire more officers, and has since helped offset officers' salaries. Without a renewal, the chief said, other cuts might be necessary to keep police manpower at its current level.

The levy generates $142,500 annually and costs the owner of a $100,000 about $3 per year.

Jerusalem Township trustees are asking voters to approve a five-year, 5-mill renewal levy for equipment and operating expenses for the fire department.

If approved it will generate $222,000 per yard and cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $95 a year.

Harding Township is seeking a 1.5-mill replacement levy for contracting for rescue services.

Waterville Township voters will consider a 1.9-mill replacement levy for police salaries and equipment. If passed, it will cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $58 per year.

Middleton Township in Wood County is seeking approval of a 0.3-mill, 5-year replacement levy for fire equipment. The current levy has been in place for more than 25 years. The renewal is expected to cost the owner of a $100,000 house $9.19 annually.

Royalton Township in Fulton County which includes Lyons, voters will decide on a 1.8-mill, five-year replacement levy for fire protection.

Clinton Township voters in Fulton County, including those in Wauseon, are being asked to approve a 1.15-mill, five-year levy for the purchase of an $850,000 fire truck with a 100-foot ladder.

The truck would allow firefighters to reach the roof of the Fulton County Health Center, which they cannot do with current equipment.

The measure would raise almost $200,000 a year and cost about $35 annually to the owner of a $100,000 house.

Amboy Township residents in Fulton County will vote on a 1-mill, five-year levy renewal for fire and rescue services. The township includes residents of Metamora.

Pike Township fire and rescue officials are seeking a replacement 0.5-mill, five-year levy which will collect about $16,200 each year, compared to the current levy which raises $13,700.

The township is anticipating more fire and rescue calls because the Ohio Turnpike Commission has proposed construction of service plazas in the township.



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