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Published: Tuesday, 8/10/2004

Swanton's council votes $35 in village assessments

SWANTON - Property owners here will have to pay about $35 a year for street lighting and leaf-removal services pending two more votes by Village Council.

Council voted 5-1 yesterday to collect "special assessments" for the services - an estimated $20 annually per household for the lighting and $15 for leaf removal. The ordinance needs two more votes to be enacted.

Ohio law requires the village to pay at least 2 percent of the cost - $700 for lighting and $510 for leaf removal - with taxpayers funding the difference directly. In previous years, the city has paid much larger proportions for such services, Councilman Bob Gill said.

Street lighting costs $35,000 per year, and leaf removal costs $25,500. Residents pay the difference through property taxes, but requiring Swanton to pay a certain amount channels more taxpayer money into the city's general fund, which may help buffer financial hardships, council members said.

Council will read the ordinance again at its next meeting Aug. 23.

David Pilliod, council's lone dissenter, said he opposed the two ordinances because the city's share comes from taxpayers, and he would rather have the village increase the general fund with money from funds with surpluses.

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