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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Local voters pass all levies on ballots

By Betty Lawrence
Grand Lake area voters said yes to all levies on the ballots Tuesday.
That includes passage of two school tax levies, a council on aging levy, four fire protection levies, an operating levy and bond issue for a career center and a village levy for street lights.
Following is a breakdown of the levies and what their successful passage means:
Marion Local Schools
Saying yes to the 2.2-mill operating levy were 1,311 voters, and voting no, 726. There were 72 yes votes and 51 no votes from school district residents living in Auglaize County, while in Darke County, there were 152 yes votes and 123 no votes.
The levy will generate an additional $150,000 annually for five years for operating expenses at Marion Local. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home will be an additional $67 a year in property taxes.
Minster Local Schools
Giving the nod to the 0.2-mill recreation levy in Auglaize County were 1,209 voters and no, 778. The levy also was passed by the school district residents in Shelby County, 174-144, and barely in Darke County, 23-22. It failed by its voters in Mercer County, 1-6.
The levy will generate $18,006 annually for five years. The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $7 per year.
Revenue from the levy benefits Melcher Street Park, the former site of the high school football field, which the district owns. The park now contains a playground, tennis courts and softball/baseball fields used by the school.
Vantage Career Center
For the career center in Van Wert, there were 1,245 yes votes and 1,105 no votes for the operating levy and 1,470 yes votes and 1,276 no votes for the bond issue.
The 0.8-mill replacement operating levy aids in day-to-day operation of the school, and the 1.2-mill bond levy will help fund a $16 million renovation and expansion project at the career center. The two levies together will cost owners of a $100,000 home $46.73 a year in property taxes.
Mercer County Council on Aging
In a nearly three-to-one vote, Mercer County residents passed the 0.55-mill, five-year renewal levy for elderly citizens. The vote count was 14,046-5,487.
The levy funds the Mercer County Council on Aging Senior Citizens Center. The new levy will generate about $400,000 from 2010 through 2014. It will cost an owner with a property valued at $100,000 approximately $20 per year.
Franklin Township
Voters approved the 1-mill, fire protection levy with a vote of 813 to 414.
The $325,000 generated over the course of five years will be used to purchase a new pumper truck for the Montezuma Fire Department. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.62 annually in taxes.
Blackcreek Township
There were 172 yes votes and 93 no votes for the fire protection levy in Blackcreek Township.
The 1.25-mill levy raises money for Chattanooga, Rockford and Willshire fire departments. This levy will generate nearly $14,000 annually for five years and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $38.28 annually in taxes.
Rockford village
The village was narrowly successful in seeking its first fire protection levy as 259 voters said yes and voting no, 217.
The 2-mill levy will generate $20,000 annually for five years for its fire department. Prior to the levy, this money was pulled from the village's general fund. The owner of a $100,000 property will pay $61.25 annually in taxes.
Unincorporated Jefferson Township
A total of 740 voters said yes to the new 1.5-mill tax levy for fire protection and ambulance service, while 638 voted against the levy.
The levy is expected to generate $110,000 annually for five years to pay for its contracted services for the city of Celina's fire/ambulance department. The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home will be $45.93 annually.
Montezuma village
An assessment to cover the costs of street lights in the village was approved by voters 52-38.
The $44 per parcel tax will run for five years. The tax will generate $5,300 each year to pay for the lease agreement for the street lights.
Additional online stories on this date
Voter turnout in Mercer and Auglaize counties was among the highest ever, according to local election officials. [More]
Celina firefighters got a bit more than they bargained for when they came upon a sunken vehicle in Eastview Pond during a training exercise Tuesday afternoon. [More]
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