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Recreation levy fails; Rome fire levy passes

It was a win-one, lose-one for the supporters of the two levies on Tuesday night’s ballot.

The loss was a less than 3 percent margin while the win was almost a 30 percent margin on the unofficial results.

Voters defeated by a 112 votes the City of Ironton recreation levy that was a replacement of the one that had been voted on in 2008. Since the half-mill levy was a replacement it would have brought in $63,500 or $2,500 more than the current levy was bringing in.

On a home with the valuation of $150,000 the levy would have meant $22.97 a year or about 50 cents more than what property owners were paying now. The money would have gone to maintain the city’s parks and run the youth basketball and cheerleading program.

Last year almost 300 young people were involved in these programs.

“I am disappointed,” Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said. “Youth activities and the parks department, that is what it is for. I can’t predict why people didn’t vote for it.”

Despite the defeat, Blankenship vowed to put the issue on the ballot again.

“I will find out when the levy is up and the actual date of the next election and put it on then,” he said. “I am not going to count us out. We will do our best to continue what we have. We will not give up on our youth.”

However, the second renewal of the Rome Township Fire Levy was approved with 64.67 percent of the vote with 2,458 for and 1,343 against.

The levy funds equipment for the volunteer fire department and the free smoke detector program.

The one-mill levy brings in $79,097 and on a $150,000 house the tax will remain at $45.10.

“We appreciate the support that the township and the citizens showed the department,” Tate Tooley, Assistant Rome Fire Chief, said. “Not only are they financially supporting us when they do it. We take that as moral support recognizing the importance of what we do. And they financially support us to do what we do, which is to protect the township. A wide margin, that is very much appreciated and shows the support the township has for us. They are allowing us to provide the level of service. And we will even improve upon the service we are doing.”