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Published: Friday, 3/2/2012

Supporters rally to keep TARTA service in Perrysburg

BLADE STAFF

About 75 TARTA supporters turned out at a campaign rally Thursday in Perrysburg to preface Tuesday's election, when voters will decide whether the city should opt out of the transit-bus service, said Hilton Garden Inn general manager Izzet Sozeri.

Mr. Sozeri, who is against the opt-out referendum, spoke at the event held in his hotel in Perrysburg's Levis Commons.

"We just can't picture how we can get by without the service," said Mr. Sozeri, adding that about 30 percent of his employees ride the bus to get to work.

The referendum will be on Tuesday's ballot, which could make Perrysburg the first of the nine communities to exit the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority. The other TARTA members are Toledo, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Rossford, Ottawa Hills, Maumee, Spencer Township, and Waterville.

Perrysburg City Council members have argued that the city is overcharged with an estimated $1.5 million in property taxes paid to TARTA, compared to the level of service it gets in return.

Voters will vote for the referendum if they want to eliminate the service in Perrysburg, and against it to keep TARTA. If the referendum passes Tuesday, officials said they plan to put an alternative property tax-funded transit plan on the Nov. 6 ballot.



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