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Published: 5/5/2013

Delta Library asking voters to replace, increase millage

Perrysburg transit levy among other proposals

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Children's librarian Marge Bowerman reads Worms for Lunch during story time. Children's librarian Marge Bowerman reads Worms for Lunch during story time.
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DELTA, Ohio — The Delta Public Library has long relied on a little help from the public to keep its doors open, and on Tuesday it will ask for a bit more.

The library is seeking to replace the 1-mill levy already on the books and add another mill for five years — a measure that would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $60 a year. It is one of a variety of tax issues before voters throughout northwest Ohio.

 

Jennifer Harkey, fiscal officer for the Delta Public Library, said she hopes patrons and nonpatrons alike see the library’s value.

 

“I believe the library is the brightest thing in Delta,” she said. “It’s such an asset to the community. We offer nontraditional services like copying and faxing. A lot of people come in and just get on computers. We have lots of children’s programming.”

 

The levy, which is on the ballots of all residents of the Pike-Delta-York school district, would generate about $330,000 a year and enable the library to boost its purchases of books, movies, and music, update computers, and hire additional staff — all of which have suffered under funding cuts from the state, Ms. Harkey said.

 

In Perrysburg, a proposed levy for transit is on the ballot for a new five-year tax assessed at a rate of 0.8 mills, a little more than half the amount that was rejected on the November ballot.

 

It is about a third of what Perrysburg residents were charged when the city had bus and shuttle service provided by the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.

 

TARTA ceased service in Perrysburg in September after voters passed a referendum in March last year to withdraw from that agency.

 

If approved, the new levy it would generate $450,000 a year and cost the owner of a $200,000 house $50 more a year in taxes. A dial-a-ride service would be provided for a small fee.

 

In Bowling Green, city voters are being asked to renew a three-year, 1.4-mill levy that brings in more than $636,000 a year for parks and recreation. Parks Director Michelle Grigore said that’s about a third of her department’s budget.

 

Revenue from the levy, which costs the owner of a $100,000 home just under $43 a year, is used for staffing and maintenance at Simpson Garden Park, Carter Park, City Park, Wintergarden Park, and the B.G. Community Center.

 

Its renewal comes on the heels of a 20-year, 0.6-mill bond issue approved by voters last year to build a new swimming pool at City Park.

 

“None of that [bond issue] is leftover for pool operations,” Ms. Grigore said. “This is our operating levy that residents have passed for over 50 years.”

 

In Waterville, a zoning-change initiative petitioned by opponents of an apartment development on the city’s west side is on the ballot.

 

The buildings at 8375 Waterville-Monclova Rd. already are under construction. City Administrator James Bagdonas said that even if they weren’t, the developer has the permits to build the 14 two-unit structures where another builder once proposed condominiums.

 

Changing the property’s zoning from multifamily residential to single-family residential only can affect what could be built there in the future should any of the Kensington Garden Apartments buildings ever be destroyed, Mr. Bagdonas said.

 

The property on the east side of Waterville-Monclova just south of State Rt. 64 is part of 6.4 acres rezoned to multifamily residential eight years ago to support a proposal for a 40-unit condo project, an effort that later went sour.

 

Sandusky County voters are being asked to approve a five-year, 0.8-mill levy that would fund mental health services for residents.

 

Nancy Cochran, executive director of the Seneca-Sandusky-Wyandot County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, stressed that income from the levy — about $900,000 a year — would pay for services only in Sandusky County.

 

The other two counties have passed and renewed their own tax issues.

 

“I think there has been some confusion in the past, that because we’re a three-county board people think that if Sandusky County votes this in, the money will go to the other two counties, and it cannot,” she said. “By law it can only serve people in Sandusky County, period.”

 

If approved, the measure would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $25 a year.

 

The Board of Developmental Disabilities in Henry County is asking voters to replace a five-year, 2-mill levy that helps it provide services for infants through senior citizens with developmental disabilities.

 

Superintendent Melinda Slusser said the agency has a lengthy waiting list, particularly for adults in need of supportive-living arrangements, that it would like to reduce.

 

If replaced, the levy would generate about $1.2 million, up from the $900,000 or so the current levy brings in. It would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 just under $24 a year.

 

Voters in the Bellevue school district are being asked to approve a 28-year, 0.67-mill bond issue that would generate $2.8 million to expand and renovate the Bellevue Public Library — both the historic 110-year-old Carnegie building and a later addition.

 

If passed, the measure also would enable the library to expand parking and green space at the site.

 

The bond issue would cost the owner of a home valued at $80,000 just under $17 a year.

 

Among the other issues on Tuesday’s ballot:

 

● Fulton County: five-year, 0.7-mill renewal for operation of the 911 system and a 10-year, 0.5-mill renewal of the county health district levy.

 

● Gorham Township (Fulton County): additional five-year, 2-mill levy for the fire department.

 

● Village of Bradner (Wood County): additional five-year, 2-mill levy for parks and recreation.

 

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

 

jfeehan@theblade.com

 

or 419-213-2134.




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