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Seneca, Sandusky counties OK tax levies

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Patrons of Fremont-based Birchard Public Library showed their support for the library Tuesday, approving its first-ever request for local operating money.

The levy was among several tax issues that gained approval in Sandusky County. By comfortable margins, county voters also agreed to replace existing operating levies that support senior citizens, 911 services, and the Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The Birchard library joined a long list of area libraries that recently have sought local operating dollars following two years of state-budget reductions. Voters approved a 1-mill, five-year operating levy for the library in Fremont, which also has branches in Woodville, Gibsonburg, and Green Springs. The levy is expected to bring in $896,903 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.62 per year.

Library Director Pam Hoesman said two years of funding cuts from the state prompted library trustees to seek the levy, which will enable the library to restore hours and services that had been cut.

Voters approved a 0.5-mill, five-year levy for senior citizens that will generate $582,142 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $15.31 a year.

The levy helps support Sandusky County's home-delivered meal program, a senior transportation program, and meals at senior centers in Fremont, Gibsonburg, Clyde, and Woodville.

The five-year, 0.3-mill replacement levy approved for 911 services will generate $327,053 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $9.19 a year.

Voters also approved a 2-mill, five-year levy for the Sandusky County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which operates the School of Hope and Sandco Industries. The replacement levy will generate $$2.35 million a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $61.25 a year.

In Seneca County, voters agreed to replace a 0.3-mill, five-year operating levy for the health department. The measure will generate $323,056 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $9.19 a year.

By a wide margin, Fostoria voters approved an amendment to the city charter that will require a majority vote from residents before City Council can abolish the police or fire departments.

The measure, which was not endorsed by council, was sought by police officers and firefighters concerned about the possibility of council contracting with another agency for emergency services.

A similar charter amendment, which covered only the police department, failed in November.

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