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Published: Sunday, 5/1/2011

Sandusky County voters will decide 4 tax requests

Seneca County, Fostoria also weigh issues

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Jean Bertsch looks for books at the Birchard Public Library in Fremont. The library, which has branches in Woodville, Gibsonburg, and Green Springs, is seeking its first operating levy on Tuesday. Jean Bertsch looks for books at the Birchard Public Library in Fremont. The library, which has branches in Woodville, Gibsonburg, and Green Springs, is seeking its first operating levy on Tuesday.
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Across northwest Ohio, tax issues for townships, villages, and county agencies dot Tuesday’s ballot, but perhaps nowhere more than in Sandusky County.

Voters there will decide countywide tax replacements for senior citizens, 911 services, and for the Board of Developmental Disabilities. The Fremont-based Birchard Public Library also is seeking its first-ever operating levy.

The library, which has branches in Woodville, Gibsonburg, and Green Springs, is asking voters to support a 1-mill, five-year operating levy that would bring in $896,903 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.62 per year.

Library Director Pam Hoesman said library trustees held off as long as possible in seeking a local levy after reducing staff, services, and hours as the state cut funding to public libraries over the last two years. “They kept saying to ride it out, let’s try to ride it out, and we kept getting bad news from Columbus,” she said.

Voters in all of Sandusky County will decide whether to replace a 0.5-mill, five-year levy for senior citizens that currently brings in $522,889 a year. If replaced, it would generate approximately $582,142 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $15.31 a year.

Todd Robinson, senior program coordinator for WSOS senior programs, said levy proceeds help pay for the county’s home-delivered meal program, a senior transportation program, and a meal program at senior centers in Fremont, Gibsonburg, Clyde, and Woodville.

County voters also will decide a five-year, 0.3-mill levy for 911 services that brings in $263,318 a year. If replaced by voters, it would generate $327,053 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $9.19 a year.

Chris Mock, Sandusky County’s 911 coordinator, said residents who live in Bellevue are served by Huron County 911 and aren’t subject to the tax.

The Sandusky County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which operates the School of Hope and Sandco Industries, is asking voters to replace the agency’s five-year, 2-mill operating levy, which generates $2.09 million a year. If replaced, it would bring in $2.35 million a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $61.25 a year.

Superintendent Deb Yenrick called it a “must renew” levy, as it provides more than a third of the agency’s operating dollars.

In neighboring Seneca County, voters are being asked to replace a 0.3-mill, five-year operating levy for the health department. In November, voters rejected a 0.5-mill levy that would have taken the place of the smaller levy. If approved, it would generate approximately $323,056 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $9.19 a year.

In Fostoria, voters will be asked to amend the city charter to say a majority vote of city voters would be required before City Council could abolish the police or fire departments. The measure, which is not endorsed by council, was placed on the ballot by an initiative petition circulated by police and fire personnel. A similar issue, which addressed only the police department, failed in November.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129.



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