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Published: Wednesday, 10/5/2005

Woodville to face council, levy votes

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Expenses have risen in Woodville, causing village council to ask voters to approve a replacement levy in November that's 2 mills more than the levy that has been renewed the past 20 years.

Also, four council seats will expire at the end of the year, with four incumbents running against one challenger.

Council has placed a five-year, 7.4-mill tax levy on the ballot to replace a 5.4-mill levy that's been renewed every five years since it was passed in 1985. They said they need the extra millage to keep up with costs, Mayor Richard Harman said.

"It's for the betterment of the community," he said. "The costs are just going up tremendously, and it's just taking care of our day-to-day operations."

The current levy generates $168,000 a year for the general fund and costs the owner of a $125,000 home $227 a year. If the extra millage is passed, the levy would generate $243,649 a year for the general fund and would cost $323 for the owner of a $125,000 home. The mayor said the new levy would help pay for street improvements and 24-hour police protection, among other village services.

"If it does go down, there will have to be some changes to be made and belt-tightening," he said, "no question."

Also on the ballot, four councilmen are running for re-election against one newcomer who applied to fill a council vacancy at the beginning of this year.

Ty Tracy, 31, a chiropractor, was one of three who were interviewed to fill the remaining year of a councilman's four-year term. He said he has no prior experience on council but has been on the village's recreation board for the past six months. He said he wants voters to elect him "to bring some energy and enthusiasm to the position."

The person council chose to fill the empty position in January was Monte Porter, 33, a real estate agent for Welles Bowen Realtors of Oregon and supervisor for a work-release program. He said he's running for a full term because he wants to keep the village safe and thinks some of his ideas will help. "I still think that I've got plenty of good that I can give," he said.

Both will be running against three men who have more experience on council.

Gerald Kepus, 64, president of Medical Economic Service of Ohio out of Woodville, has served off and on since 1976 and has been on council for last eight consecutive years.

The council president and chairman of the finance committee said he believes it's his civic duty to run again "to make sure the finances are controlled and not wasted."

Joseph Riffle, 38, on active duty in the U.S. Army, was appointed to council three years ago. He said he has lived in Woodville his whole life and has enjoyed working to help the village while on council. "I hope I get on to continue to help the village the best that I can," he said.

Jeffery Tate, 38, a plant manager for Morgan Services in Toledo, is finishing his first term . He said he's running because he's interested and concerned about the village, and wants to continue to improve its infrastructure.

Write-in candidate Scott Schneider will remain on the village's board of public affairs because he is the only one running for the position. He is president of the board, and has been a member since 1990.



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