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Lucas County panel puts levy on ballot

Lucas County commissioners yesterday approved placing a 0.7-mill levy on the November ballot to continue operation of the 911 system and to establish a countywide communication system.

A current levy of 0.7-mill, which allows for the maintenance and operation of the 911 system, raises about $4.2 million, but will expire at the end of the year.

Dennis Cole, the county's director of emergency services, told commissioners that if the levy is passed, it will generate revenue of about $5.4 million.

The money will continue to be used to operate and maintain the 911 system, and the additional revenue will be used to establish a countywide communications system for public safety personnel. The system will allow direct communication between personnel in different vehicles, rather than having to communicate through dispatchers.

Officials have said the system would be more efficient in some emergency situations, such as chases involving several different agencies.

Commissioners also approved the sale of about 55 acres of wetlands from the county's Westwinds Industrial Park to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

The land will be used by the port authority to satisfy a federal requirement to replace the wetlands that will have to be taken at Toledo Express Airport for the construction of two large warehouses designed to hold perishable items.

The authority intends to deed the Westwinds land to a public or not-for-profit entity to guarantee that it is not used in the future for development, according to Ralph Hannon, the port authority's director of new projects.

The port authority will pay the county a total of about $270,000 for the land and intends to later purchase a similar amount of wetlands at the site, although a price has not been determined for that tract.

The commissioners agreed to sell four acres in the industrial park to the Loma Linda Restaurant, 10400 Airport Hwy., which abuts the property.

Waymon Usher, the county's director of economic development, said the owners have agreed to pay a total of $240,000.

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