Four local levies on November ballot

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Voters in three communities will decide next month if they want to continue support for fire protection while Coal Grove residents will be asked to renew their support for a levy they once routinely accepted but last year rejected.

Lawrence Township voters will be asked to renew a five-year 1-mil fire protection levy that brings in approximately $15,000 annually to purchase or upgrade equipment.

Fire Chief Phil Hardy stressed this levy is not a new one, but a continuation of one that is in place now.

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“It will not increase their taxes a penny over what they’re paying now,” Hardy said. “But it is imperative we have sufficient amount of income to protect the people in the township.”

Voters in the village of Chesapeake will be asked to renew a five-year 1.5-mil fire protection levy that brings in $13,182 annually for fire equipment.

Like Hardy, Assistant Chief Ed Webb stressed this is not a new levy — it was first approved more than 15 years ago. The money collected pays for fire equipment the volunteer department could not afford otherwise.

“Through their support, we can better support and serve them,” Webb explained.

Upper Township voters will decide whether to continue a five-year 2-mil fire levy that brings in $37,000 to $38,000 annually, village clerk treasurer Terry Griffin said.

That levy was first approved in the 1990s. Fire Chief Jeff Scott was not available for comment.

For two decades, Coal Grove voters routinely approved a one-mil operational expense levy that was used to pay for street lights, police cruisers and other necessities.

Then last November village officials offered the levy for renewal and it failed.

“There were alcohol levies on the ballot and the casino gambling levy. I think voters just said ‘no’ to them all,” Mayor Larry McDaniel surmised.

McDaniel said the levy line item did have some money, approximately $60,000, remaining in it after last fall’s election and that money has been used since then to keep the street lights operating. But he said it is essential the levy is renewed because that $60,000 won’t last forever.

Without the money, McDaniel said essentials would fall by the wayside.

The levy brings in an estimated $19,000 annually.