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Published: Wednesday, 11/8/2006

Early returns point to 4 tax approvals

Of the four community-services taxes on suburban Toledo ballots, results were still pending last night, though partial returns showed voters were favoring passage of the issues, including a 0.5-mill levy renewal for the Olander Park system in the Sylvania area.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the Olander Park System, said response from voters throughout the day was very positive, leading park officials to be cautiously optimistic.

Except for a recreational facilities levy in Jerusalem Township, the ballot issues were renewal levies, which means taxes for residents in the Olander Park district and for residents in Springfield and Washington townships wouldn't increase if the levies were approved, in spite of recent property revaluations in Lucas County. Each of the levies would run for five years.

The Olander Park levy generates about $900,000 annually. Revenue would be earmarked for improvements in Fossil Park and additions to Sylvan Prairie Park, including an entrance at Brint Road, a sledding hill, and oak forest and wetlands restoration. The levy would cost the owner of a $170,000 home about $25 per year. In addition to Sylvania and Sylvania Township, the Olander Park district includes seven voting precincts in Toledo's Westfield Franklin Park area.

Residents in Jerusalem Township voted on whether to approve a 0.75-mill replacement levy for recreational programs. If approved, annual revenue would increase from $43,600 to $48,500. Of that amount, between $11,000 and $15,000 would be directed to Oregon for the Jerusalem recreational leagues' use of ballfields in the neighboring city. A portion of the remaining revenue would be used to develop the township's 26-acre park site on Sacks Road between Yondota and Teachout roads. Other funds would be earmarked to update equipment and to buy a pitching machine and other recreational equipment. Because the replacement levy would be based on the new property assessments, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay about $23 annually, up from the current $20, township officials said.

The 2-mill levy for fire protection in Washington Township would generate $96,500 annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $61 annually. Its current effective rate is 1.696 mills.

In Springfield Township, residents were being asked to approve a 1.8-mill levy that would generate $761,080 annually for staffing and operations of the fire department. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 annually. Because of property revaluations since its initial approval, the Springfield levy's current effective rate is 1.135 mills.

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