|Freedom Twp. retries levy that lost by one vote|
|Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 23 October 2013 09:51|
PEMBERVILLE - Freedom Township is asking residents to approve two levies on Nov. 5 - one of which failed by only one vote last year.
That levy, a new 1-mill levy for current township expenses, went down in a nail-biting vote, 708 to 709, in the 2012 general election.
"The way things are set up with the state, we're not allowed to spend any monies to advertise" the levy, said Trustee Keith Avers, "so it's kind of word-of-mouth."
That levy, he said, which would raise approximately $60,000 per year, would provide needed monies to the general fund in the face of declining funding from the state and other sources.
The money would be used for a number of delayed projects, including cemetery maintenance. Avers noted that Eisenhour Cemetery, located just south of the junction of Eisenhour and Bradner roads, has a deteriorating wall that needs attention.
"And along with that, insurance and everything keeps going up, and our general fund balance has really taken a strain. Along with that, the road maintenance, at the present time, it's about all we can do to resurface one mile of road a year. We've got 40-some miles of road in the township. Physically the road needs to be resurfaced every 10 years."
Additionally, Avers said that with the township building located in a flood zone "we can't store salt or anything for the winter," necessitating the rental of a barn outside of Pemberville for the task.
The township had previously purchased property on which to put in a salt barn and a driveway "and that's another thing that's been put on hold" without extra money in the general fund.
He said that the task of keeping the township looking good "becomes more and more of a challenge every year."
The fire department levy, a three-year, 0.4-mill replacement of a current levy, would raise about $24,000 per year for the provision and maintenance of the fire apparatus and appliances, including a newer truck and ambulance purchased in recent years.
With the economy, said Avers, "it's been tough to raise tax dollars. (That's) one of the reasons we've held off on some of this stuff for a while. It's just one of them things, sooner or later, we felt like we had to address."
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