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Published: Thursday, 2/17/2005

Wauseon voters to help decide township road levy

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

WAUSEON - Clinton Township voters, including those in Wauseon, will be asked to approve a new 1-mill, five-year road levy on the May ballot.

Money raised by the levy won't be spent to maintain roads in Wauseon, but in areas of the township outside the city.

Township trustees filed the levy request yesterday with the Fulton County Board of Elections.

If voters pass the levy, which would collect more than $172,000 a year, trustees will let expire two levies charged against property owners outside the Wauseon city limits, trustee Brett Kolb said.

"Wauseon isn't an island," said Larry Neuenschwander, a township trustee, adding that city residents use township roads to enter and exit the city.

Collections from the new levy would be 75 percent higher than from the two expiring levies combined. Together, those levies raise about $98,000 a year for the township.

Trustees are asking for the increase, Mr. Kolb said, because they want to do more maintenance on the township's 43 miles of roads, and the work is expensive. They recently spent about $750,000 - some of which came from state and county funds - on one mile of roadway.

"We still have three miles of stone road in the township that we'd like to get converted to asphalt roads," Mr. Kolb said.

The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000, owner-occupied home nearly $31 a year. It would raise township taxes paid by city residents by 46 percent. The owner of such a home in the city now pays almost $67 a year in township taxes.

But the plan would reduce by 18 percent the township taxes paid by property owners outside the city. They pay almost $193 a year on such a home now, of which more than $65 is for the two levies that trustees say they would allow to expire.

The levies that would expire are:

●A 1.4-mill levy that expires this year. It raises more than $57,300 a year at an annual cost of almost $38 to the owner of a $100,000, owner-occupied home. It is collecting at a rate of 1.24 mills.

●A 1-mill levy that expires next year. It raises almost $41,000 a year at an annual cost of more than $27 to such a homeowner. It is collecting a rate of 0.887 mills.

Trustees also filed a request yesterday for replacement of a 0.3-mill, five-year fire levy, which has been taxing residents both inside and outside the city limits.

Replacing the fire levy, which ends this year, would increase collections to $51,700, up from almost $46,800. The cost to a $100,000 homeowner would rise to $9.19 a year, up from $8.27.

Mr. Kolb said trustees asked for the replacement because the cost of maintaining fire equipment has increased.



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