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Published: Thursday, 4/13/2006

Fostoria voters get gas aggregation choice

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Fostoria residents in Seneca County are being offered a chance to purchase natural gas from the city through a gas aggregation issue that's on the May 2 primary ballot, while Erie County voters are asked to renew a property tax for the metropark district.

Fostoria's safety-service director, Bill Rains, said yesterday the city is working with AMP-Ohio to help get a bulk rate, which could lead to a lower price.

If approved, the program would be administered by AMP-Ohio. The plan calls for residents and businesses to automatically become customers of the city, unless they decide to opt out of the program.

Robert Simmers, marketing consultant with AMP-Ohio, said the amount of savings is difficult to predict because of market conditions at the time the plan is implemented.

"We don't know how long all of this will take," he said.

About 100 Ohio cities, including Toledo, are taking advantage of the aggregation, he said.

Elsewhere in Seneca County, the only contested races involve the primaries for county commissioner.

On the Democratic side, Tiffin attorney Leticia Patino, who ran unsuccessfully for commissioner two years ago, is challenging incumbent Joseph Schock of Tiffin, who is seeking a second term.

Republicans will have a choice between Michael Bridinger of Tiffin and Charles Knight of Fostoria, chairman of the Seneca County Republican Party.

No Democrats have filed for the primary in the county auditor's race. Incumbent Larry Beidelschies, a Republican, is unchallenged on his party's slate.

Seneca County tax issues to be decided include:

●Arcadia Local School District, 4.4-mill renewal, three years, to avoid a deficit.

●Hopewell-Loudon Local School District, additional 6.4 mills, emergency levy, three years; raising $552,000 a year.

●Mohawk Local School District, 0.97-mill bond issue to raise $725,000 a year for 10 years to pay for construction and renovation.

●Clyde-Green Springs School District, 2.5 mill, renewal, emergency, raising $539,000 a year.

American Legion Post 295 in Green Springs seeks passage of two local options that would grant the post a club permit and allow Sunday sales of alcohol.

Three issues supporting liquor sales in Erie County communities and sundry tax levies are among the issues and candidates voters will decide there.

Erie Metroparks seeks the renewal of a 0.5 mill property tax that will continue raising $6.73 dollars a year from each $100,000 of a home's valuation. The renewal would expire in 10 years. The district receives about 45 percent of its funding from the levy, which voters approved in 1986.

Requests for Sunday sales of alcohol are sought by Butt Hutt of America's carryout at 305 West Perkins Ave. in Sandusky; Kroger Co., 508 West Perkins, Perkins Township, and Post 17 of the American Veterans of WW II, 307 Putnam St., Sandusky.

None of the countywide primary races will be contested in Erie County because two candidates were removed from the ballot because of invalid petitions.

Joseph W. Felton, a Republican running for county auditor, failed to get enough valid signatures, leaving fellow Republican Rick Jeffrey unchallenged. Democrat Thomas Paul will likely face Mr. Felton in November.

Beverly Newell Hancock, a Democrat running for Erie County Juvenile Court judge, was removed from the ballot after one person signed two names on her petition. Incumbent Judge Robert Delamatre, a Republican, is unopposed.

In the county commissioners' race, Democrat Bill Monaghan is unchallenged, setting up a November face-off with Commissioner Sparky Weilnau, a Republican seeking a second term.

Tax issues in Erie County include:

●The village of Castalia's 2-mill replacement levy for operating expenses.

●Firelands Local School District's renewal of a 3.07-mill levy for five years, to raise $820,000 a year.

●Vermilion Local School District's additional 4.9-mill levy for five years, to raise $2 million a year.

In Huron County, Democratic incumbent Mike Adelman of Monroeville is unchallenged for county commissioner, as is Republican David Freitag of Bellevue.

The lack of primary opponents in the race for the common pleas court bench will likely mean Democrat James Conway of Norwalk will face Republican Sharon Harwood of Norwalk in the general election.

Democrat Roland Tkach of Wakeman is uncontested in his bid for auditor and will likely face Republican Will Lewis of Norwalk, who also is unchallenged in the primary.

No incumbents are seeking re-election to the common pleas bench or the auditor's post.



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