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Published: Friday, 5/4/2001

Voters to consider Fulton money issues

BY MIKE TRESSLER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

METAMORA - Evergreen Schools need buses, and the Delta library needs somewhere to put books.

Those are two issues facing voters Tuesday in communities west of Toledo.

Pike-Delta-York District voters will decide whether a library can be built.

The issue in the Evergreen Local District, which has students from both Fulton and Lucas counties, is a 2.4-mill replacement levy for permanent improvements.

The five-year tax will pay for purchase of school buses, educational equipment, and building repairs. It will replace a levy that expires this year.

The permanent improvement levy is 2.4 mills, which would be reduced because of increased property values. To collect 2.4 mills, it must be passed as a replacement, not a renewal.

If the levy passes, a property owner with a house valued at $100,000 will pay $73.50 annually, up from $53.

Among needs for the continuation of the revenue is the purchase of buses, Superintendent Russell Griggs said.

Some buses now in use have more than 200,000 miles on them. Two buses were added last month to the fleet of 26 vehicles and some vans that run about 500,000 miles a year, Mr. Griggs said. A handicapped-equipped bus will bring the fleet to 27.

“We run the largest transportation system in Fulton County. Our buses rack up the miles,'' he said.

Money from that tax issue was used to buy $8,500 worth of band instruments last year, Mr. Griggs said. The replacement levy would be used to pay off bonds for energy-conserving projects.

In Delta, library director Pat Grover said she is optimistic that voters who defeated a levy in the last election will see the need to pass a 2.53-mill tax levy that would raise $3.4 million in 15 years to construct a building.

The present 7,000-square-foot structure is bursting at the seams, she said.

“I've quit buying CD roms because of no room, “ Ms. Grover said. “We've come to a point where new fiction comes in and some book has to leave. We're pulling things only 5 years old off the shelves. The children's area is maxed out. If anything new at all comes in, something goes out. “

A levy committee, the library board, and Ms. Grover and her staff have worked hard to inform the community.

“We tried to get the message out there, not only that we need a new library but that we have made changes to accommodate their [voters'] concerns in design and cost,'' she said.

The design for the library was scaled down to 20,000 square feet and modified to reduce the cost. If passed, the levy would cost owners of a $100,000 house $65 a year.

Delta voters will decide on a 1-mill, five-year replacement levy to underwrite a park fund. Last passed in 1996, the tax will raise $43,000 annually to run the parks and make improvements, such as a backstop for a baseball field, parking lot repairs, pool maintenance, and some salaries.

All Fulton County voters will have a say in renewal of a 0.25-mill tax levy that provides funding for Emergency Medical Services equipment and maintenance.

If passed, the levy would generate $149,798 annually. Most of that money would be used to buy emergency vehicles and keep them in repair, officials said.

Approval would renew the quarter-mill levy about to expire. A half-mill levy that funds county EMS remains in force.

Wauseon ballots ask for renewal of a 4.8-mill school levy, that will raise $835,000 annually.

In Lyons, voters will decide on a 3-mill, five-year replacement levy to pay expenses of the village. Officials there say the money will pay for improvements, such as sidewalks.

York Township will vote on a 1-mill replacement tax levy for road resurfacing and other improvements.

In Gorham Township, residents will consider a 0.5-mill, five-year levy for money to maintain Pleasant View Union Cemetery.

Clinton Township ballots will have two issues: a 1-mill, five-year, replacement levy for road construction and improvements, and a 0.03-mill, five-year levy for expenses.

In Swan Creek Township, between Swanton and Delta, voters will consider approving a zoning plan proposed by trustees. Increased population and development have prompted the proposed zoning of a portion of the township, they point out.

The Liberty Center School District is asking voters to approve a 1.51-mill, 20-year levy for building a spring sports complex and improving other athletic fields.

In Wauseon, seven candidates are vying for three council positions, necessitating a run-off to eliminate one and produce a six-person race in November.

Candidates are incumbent Wayne Massau, Karen Krumm, Doug Shaw, Judy Turney, Bill Wagner, Jeff Stiriz, and Paul Arruda.



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