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Levies provide vital services

Voters in two townships and the villages of Coal Grove and Chesapeake will have to decide if they want to keep paying for the services they already have.

Upper and Lawrence townships and the Village of Chesapeake all three have renewal fire levies on the Nov. 3 ballot. The Village of Coal Grove has an operations levy that had been in place for more than 20 years until residents decided not to renew it last year.

The fire levies allow all three of these communities to operate volunteer fire departments and have funds needed to purchase necessary equipment and tools.

The Coal Grove levy keeps the lights on — the street lights that is. It has also been used to fill other gaps in public services such as meeting needs in the police department and street department.

All three of these levies have varying millage — a fancy way of saying the tax rate or how much it costs property owners — that range up to 2 mil.

A 1-mil levy would cost a homeowner an extra 10 cents on every $100 of assessed property value. Assessed value, what the county uses to tax property on, is 35 percent of the appraised or market value of a home. So a property owner with a $100,000 market value home would spend an extra $35 a year, or approximately $3 a month.

This is a small price to pay for the vital services of fire protection or the ability to keep the streets lighted and more safe.

Even in these difficult times, this should be considered an investment in your property and an investment into your community.

Plus, the fact that three of the four are renewals — and the lone exception is something property owners were paying up to a year ago — makes it even easier to swallow.

Property owners don’t have to spend more, but they should make the decision to protect what they already have.