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Olander officials aim for park vote in November

Levy mistakenly left off ’16 ballot

Voters in the Sylvania area will vote in November on an issue mistakenly left off their ballots in 2016.

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Olander Park

THE BLADE
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The Olander Park Board of Commissioners voted Monday to put a property tax levy — which accounts for most of the park district’s budget — on the ballot for the general election. Other options included filing to be on the May ballot for a special election, or to be on the September primary election ballot.

“It’s very low-turn out,” parks commissioner John Zeitler said of a special election. “Plus, I think this gives us time to gear up a campaign instead of trying to rush it.”

The move is necessary after park officials last year failed to file the required paperwork to place a proposed 0.8-mill levy on the November, 2016, ballot. That levy was to generate $1.093 million a year and replace a 0.5-mill levy, which expired in December, 2016.

The park system’s budget will take a hit this year without the property tax revenue, and two full-time and two part-time employees were laid off to curb costs. The remaining four employees also saw their salaries cut this year.

Lucas County Board of Elections director Gina Kaczala estimated it would cost between $30,000 and $48,000 for the Olander Park System to hold a special election because they likely would have been the only entity with an issue on the ballot. That factored in to the commissioners’ decision to hold off until November.

“I think its probably the best decision. It’s too costly to do it as a special election,” board chairman Harold McElmurry said.

Officials said they will firm up details, such as the amount of the levy request, at their February meeting.

Contact Sarah Elms at: selms@theblade.com or 419-724-6103 or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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