Friday, May 25, 2018
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Wood County voters face fund requests

The primary election ballot for Wood County voters will be unusually short May 2, although it will include the Lake Local Schools seventh tax request in less than two years.

Eastwood and North Baltimore local schools also have tax issues on the ballot, and Bloom and Grand Rapids townships are seeking levies for their fire departments.

Terry Burton, deputy director of the Wood County Board of Elections, surmised that some municipalities decided to hold off on seeking any additional tax levies because so many county taxpayers saw their property taxes increase this year due to a reappraisal.

Lake Local voters are being asked to approve a five-year, 8.75-mill operating levy intended to raise just under $2 million a year. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $268 a year.

Voters in the district, which includes Lake Township, Millbury, Walbridge, and a small portion of Ottawa County, consistently have rejected attempts for new operating dollars, prompting Lake schools to make numerous cuts. Officials said they are looking at a deficit of more than $1.5 million by the end of 2008 without new revenue.

Forums focused on school finance are set for 7 p.m. Thursday and April 24 at the high school. The sessions are sponsored by the Let s Approve Kids Education committee, which is working to get the tax issue passed.

Eastwood voters will be asked to approve a five-year, 1 percent income tax intended to raise about $1.7 million a year. The board decided to seek the income tax in place of a five-year, 8.9-mill operating levy that expires this year. That levy generates about $1.5 million annually.

In North Baltimore, voters will be asked to approve a new 1.5 percent income tax that would raise about $916,000 a year for a continuing period and to replace a continuing, 8.9-mill operating levy to generate about $565,159 a year. The current levy is collected at 4.8 mills and generates $311,159 a year.

For the owner of a $100,000 home, the replacement levy would cost an additional $122.50 a year. Community forums about the tax requests are set for 7 p.m. Monday at the high school auditorium and at 7 p.m. April 27 at the Powell Elementary gymnasium.

Grand Rapids Township voters will be asked to renew a five-year, 2-mill levy for fire protection, while Bloom Township voters will be asked to approve an additional five-year, 1-mill levy for fire protection.

County officeholders on the primary ballot all are unopposed in their bids for re-election, including Common Pleas Judge Reeve Kelsey and Auditor Michael Sibbersen, both Republicans.

County Commissioner Tim Brown also is unopposed in the Republican primary, although he will face Democrat Melanie Bowen in November s election. Ms. Bowen, a Lake Township trustee, is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: or 419-353-5972.

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