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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2005

Hancock County looks to cuts; Sandusky, Fulton upbeat

Budget hearings begin next week in Hancock County, and commissioners say Tuesday's defeat of a 0.25 percent sales tax hike is going to make that job a challenge.

"We're going to look at the county's needs, look at what's mandated as far as services, and ask each official and department head to tell us where their cuts can be," Commissioner Emily Walton said. "There may be decreases in services and hours. We'll just have to see when we start these budget hearings."

Elsewhere in northwest Ohio, tax requests from some counties and municipalities fared better at the polls.

In Sandusky County, officials learned after a night of delays caused by ballot-printing errors that a 0.25 percent sales tax to fund the countywide EMS program had passed comfortably.

Dan Liskai, president of the county commissioners, said the tax would bring in about $1.5 million a year and eventually make EMS independent of the county's general fund.

The Fulton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities' new levy barely passed, according to unofficial results, with 50.3 percent voting yes.

Uncounted, however, are 134 provisional ballots, cast by voters whose right to vote at that location couldn't be verified on Election Day. Those deemed valid will be opened and counted on Nov. 22.

Yesterday, disabilities board members at a special meeting were hopeful that the new 2-mill, continuing levy would maintain its slight lead.

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