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Published: Friday, 8/22/2008

Sylvania meets filing deadline for ballot issue


The possibility of merger between the city of Sylvania and Sylvania Township is one step closer.

Advocates of a merger commission yesterday delivered the required 1,900 signatures - plus an additional 598 - in support of placing the matter on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Yesterday was the filing deadline for proponents of local ballot issues - from the COSI levy to liquor options and many school levies. Elections officials will be certifying issues in the coming days for the general election ballot.

A determination on the Sylvania issue is expected Monday, said Linda Howe, Lucas County elections director. If enough signatures are valid, Sylvania and

Sylvania Township voters will be asked to decide whether a commission of 10 residents - five from the city and five from the township - should be formed. The group would be charged with developing a plan to merge the city and the township.

A second vote would be needed to enact the merger.

Pam Haynam, co-chairman of the merger commission advocacy group One Sylvania, said she's "hopeful that the cushion holds this time."

Last year, the group's petition effort was thwarted when 360 signatures were disallowed by the elections board.

Candidates for the merger commission spent the final days before yesterday's deadline going door to door gathering signatures.

The group hoped to collect 20 percent more than the required minimums from city and township voters - or double the excess number of signatures collected for last year's campaign.

The effort surpassed that goal on both fronts.

The group collected 1,426, or 24 percent more, signatures than the 1,150 required from township residents. From city residents, 1,072, or 43 percent more, were received than the minimum of 750.

"We're very excited," Alix Greenblatt, a One Sylvania commission candidate, said. "Hopefully, it will be on the ballot - all the signatures will be valid - and we can move forward."

Commission candidates are planning a small campaign leading up to the general election, Ms. Haynam said.

"People need to realize this is not a tax, this is not a merger," she said. "It's a unique opportunity for the citizens of Sylvania to decide how they want to be governed in the future."

Studies by the University of Toledo's Urban Affairs Center and the Sylvania Community Improvement Corp. have indicated that a merger would improve efficiency and lower the local tax burden.

Communities throughout northwest Ohio are proposing tax and other issues for Nov. 4.

Highlights of the issues submitted yesterday for certification include:

Lucas County

COSI: a new 0.17-mill five-year levy to reopen the downtown science museum.

Lucas County Children Services: a 1-mill, five-year replacement levy.

Lucas County Mental Health Board: a 1-mill, 10-year replacement levy.

Lucas County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities: a 4-mill continuing replacement levy.

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority: a 0.4-mill, five-year renewal levy for its jobs and development programs.

Anthony Wayne Local School District: a 0.5 percent income tax over five years for operating expenses.

Maumee City School District: a new 5.9-mill continuing levy for operating expenses.

Ottawa Hills Local School District: a four-year, 1.5-mill replacement levy for facilities and capital improvements.

Sylvania City School District: a 2.89-mill, 28-year bond issue to support a $79 million building project.

Toledo City School District: a 0.7-mill, 28-year bond levy to support a $37 million building project. Also, a 10-year, 4.8-mill renewal levy for operating expenses.

Washington Local School District: a new 3.9-mill continuing levy of which 3.5 mills would be for operating expenses and 0.4-mill would be for facilities' improvements.

Hancock County

Findlay: an initiative to block the proposed RiverPlace development.

Henry County

Senior Citizens: a new five-year, 0.8-mill levy for services and facilities.

Ottawa County

Ottawa County Healthcare Campus: formerly Riverview Nursing Home, a five-year, 0.5-mill replacement levy with an increase of 0.25 mills for a tax of 0.75 mill for maintenance and operations.

Genoa Area Local School District: a 1.9-mill, 28-year bond issue for a $5.2 million building project; a 0.5-mill continuing levy for facilities' improvements.

Sandusky County

Bellevue City School District: a new 3.75-mill, 10-year levy for emergency needs.

Woodmore Local School District: a 1-mill replacement levy as well as an increase of 2.5 mills, totalling 3.5 mills for five years for facilities' improvements. District voters in Ottawa County also will help decide the issue.

Fremont City School District: a 2.1-mill, 28-year bond issue for a $18.6 million building project. Also, a 1.35-mill continuing levy for facilities' improvements.

Seneca County

Mental Health and Recovery Services: five-year, 0.8-mill operating levy.

Fostoria City School District: a 28-year, 0.5-mill continuous levy for construction, equipping, and improving school facilities.

Wood County

Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services: a 10-year, 1-mill replacement levy.

Eastwood Local School District: a 5.8-mill, 28-year bond issue for improving and constructing buildings. Also, a 1-mill continuing levy for permanent improvements.

North Baltimore Local School District: a 7.44-mill, 28-year bond issue for constructing and improving buildings. Also, a 0.25 percent, 25-year income tax for permanent improvements.

Perrysburg Exempted Village School District: an incremental tax levy that would collect between 7.3 mills and 9.6 mills over three years.

Also, the Four County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services District: a five year, 0.7-mill replacement levy. The district serves Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams counties.

Staff writer JC Reindl contributed to this report.

Contact Angie Schmitt at:


or 419-724-6104.

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