Rossford eyes rec levy replacement
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 10:12
ROSSFORD - City Council's parks and recreation committee is leaning toward asking that two levies expiring next year be replaced.
In delivering his report to council Monday, Councilman Larry Oberdorf said that by replacing the levies rather than renewing them, each of the 0.4-mill levies would generate $49,000 annually instead of $37,000.
By replacing the levy the rate is reset based on current valuation. Renewing it collects the same amount of money as has been collected.
"It was determined that the replacement levy would allow the Recreation Department to better fund much needed improvements and repairs to both the recreation center and the parks," Oberdorf said.
Those projects could involve roof work on the senior center, replacing the asphalt parking lot and resurfacing the tennis courts at Veterans Park.
The levies could be on the ballot in May, 2014.
Councilman Chuck Duricek said that the tax bite for residents may be greater than expected because of the state's recent elimination of the Homestead Exemption for new tax money.
City Administrator Ed Ciecka said the question would be whether a replacement levy would be considered "new money."
State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) said that the 12.5-percent exemption would not apply to a replacement levy.
Council also gave permission to the administration to executive health insurance contracts through the Ashley Insurance Group of Maumee.
Ciecka said the discussions with the company were still ongoing but the city needed to have the insurance in place by Oct. 1.
At this point, he said, it looks like the city will be paying 15.8 percent more for employees' health insurance. However, Ciecka noted, the city saw a 30-percent decrease last year.
He also indicated the city may yet be able to secure lower rates for this year.
Ciecka said he hoped to pull together a committee representing the city's unions to take a look at the health insurance plan with an eye toward "ameliorating future increases."
In her remarks, Councilwoman Caroline Eckel asked that the Board of Education be approached to see if it would be acting on a promise to improve the entrance and exit at Glenwood School on Lime City Road.
She said it is problematic with so may out-of-towners coming in for sports activities at the new athletic complex behind the school.
She said she almost rear-ended another driver who slammed on her brakes right near the entrance.
During the public comment section, city resident David Weaks praised the city's public works department and its superintendent Tyler Kolb.
The department's five workers plow snow in winter, fill potholes in spring and mow grass in summer. They put up holiday decorations and remove roadkill.
The department, working from just outside the entrance of the Hollywood Casino through the Crossroads to the south, provides "a lot of bang for the buck."
Weaks said he was dismayed that the city can't provide more help for the department, even as its spends "tens of thousands of dollars" on a new electronic bulletin board, continues to support the TARTA regional transit authority and considers participation in a multi-mullion dollar project to build a roundabout at the intersection of Lime City and Buck roads.
In other business, council voted unanimously to set trick-or-treating in the city for Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. It was previously announced that the Halloween Parade will be Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.