Local issues fill November ballot

EMS, zoo among levies up for vote

By David J. Coehrs - [email protected]

A number of issues will be placed before area voters on Nov. 3.

Fulton County residents are being asked to approve two countywide levies.

The first, a request to renew a five-year, 2-mill emergency medical services levy, would also add a 2-mill increase. The resulting 4 mills would bump up the annual revenue from approximately $1.5 million to approximately $3.6 million. The cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would increase from about $49 per year to about $118 per year.

County Commissioner Bill Rufenacht noted previously the added revenue would meet cost and wage increases. He specifically addressed the need to hire full-time personnel to counter the dearth of EMS volunteers available to respond to emergencies.

Commissioner Jeff Rupp said previously, “It will be up to the residents to decide what levels of service they want.”

The second, a replacement 10-year, 0.5-mill health levy, would replace a 0.5-mill levy on the books since 1986. It would generate approximately $248,000 annually at a cost to the owner of a $100,000 home of about $7 per year.

In June, Health Department Commissioner Kim Cupp said a five-year projection shows a need for the increase. She said without it “we would have to take a good, hard look at where we would have to reduce costs.”

In Lucas County, voters will decide whether to renew a 10-year, 1-mill levy for capital improvements at the Toledo Zoo. If approved current plans for the money include an interactive year-round river exhibit that would provide a new home for the hippos and bring new animals such as Kodiak bears and giant river otters; renovation of the zoo tunnel under the Anthony Wayne Trail; a new exhibit for the zoo’s tigers; and completion of major repairs, maintenance, and infrastructure improvements.

Voters in the Swanton 4 precinct will be asked to approve a D-4 liquor permit for Sunday sales between 10 a.m. and midnight at American Legion Post 479 at 200 S. Hallett Ave. Police Chief Adam Berg said the post has been an asset to the community, and he foresees no problems with Sunday sales.

“They do a good job of keeping a tight ship. We never have any complaints,” he said.

Swancreek Township trustees requested a zoning plan be placed on the ballot for an unincorporated section known as West 1. At a public hearing held by the township’s Zoning Commission residents complained about the appearance of businesses in that section.

The trustees acted on a zoning plan after rumors surfaced that a scrap yard would open on US 20A. Because the area is unincorporated only state codes apply to businesses there.

“We have no control over what goes in anywhere. There are no guidelines,” Trustee Pam Moore said previously. “I don’t think we’re against any type of business, it’s just how they put their business together. We would like uniformity.”

Voters in Harding Township will be asked to approve a five-year, 1.75-mill renewal levy for fire and rescue services.

The Village of Delta is asking for renewal of five-year recreation levy which funds community park operations. The 1-mill levy will generate approximately $42,000 annually for upkeep and activities. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $33 a year.

Delta Administrator Brad Peebles said due to the level of quality maintained in park areas residents usually favor the levy. He said if it fails “I would anticipate that we would have to consider some modifications within our park system and the activities that are typically supported by the levy. They would have to be reevaluated.”

The village also will give residents within the corporate limits the opportunity to vote whether their electricity can be purchased through aggregation. Presently, they are typically serviced through FirstEnergy Corporation.

The ballot proposal would permit the village to act as a purchasing agent for residents’ electrical needs. Peebles said aggregating electric loads could save individual residents up to $150 to $200 annually. He said village financial records indicate that over the past decade the village’s municipal operations have saved more than $300,000 through three aggregation contracts.

Village administrators attempted once before to place an aggregation proposal on the ballot.

“It’s simply a question if the village residents wish to have service provided by the village,” Peebles said. He added that “generally, people have been supportive” once they understand how aggregation works and how it can save them money.

EMS, zoo among levies up for vote

By David J. Coehrs

[email protected]

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.