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Published: Friday, 4/22/2005

Ottawa County voters to decide on levies

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - Voters in Ottawa County will have a few issues to consider when they head to the polls May 3, most notably another attempt at a school funding levy.

The Benton-Carroll-Salem Lo-cal School District is seeking a new 5.3-mill, 5-year emergency levy. In November, residents rejected a 4.8-mill, 5-year emergency levy.

If it passes, the levy will replace about $1.5 million lost when the state revalued the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station's property and redistributed its tax money, district Superintendent Fred Schnoor said yesterday. "Without the loss, we would not need this levy," he said.

The district has about 2,200 students attending its six schools. Its budget is about $16 million, Mr. Schnoor said.

He hopes the quality of education in the district will inspire voters to say yes to the levy.

"We have some of the highest test scores in northwest Ohio, and we have the lowest effective tax rate in northwest Ohio," he said. "It's not like we've asked for a lot here. We hope it'll pass so we can get back to work."

A 5.3-mill tax would cost the owner of a $60,000 home just over $97 annually.

If the levy does not pass, voters can expect to see it again, he added.

Bay Township will ask voters to approve a new 1.1-mill, 5-year levy for fire services, including the purchase of a new truck.

Portage Township will ask for a replacement 1.6-mill, 5-year levy for fire and emergency services.

Benton Township, excluding Rocky Ridge, will ask for a replacement 5.5-mill, 5-year levy for current expenses.

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