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Trustees place renewal road levy on ballot

7/18/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Board of Trustees approved placing the renewal of a five-year, 1-mill road levy on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot at the July 11 meeting.

According to the resolution, the levy expires in 2014 and collection would begin in 2015.

Fiscal Officer Joy Dies said the levy collects $178,993 annually, based on current valuations developed by the Summit County Fiscal Office. She said the levy does not represent an increase in taxes to property owners.

Trustee Dean Young said the renewal levy would not be affected by the state budget’s change to the rollback on levies. Young explained that in the past, the state kicked in 12.5 percent for road, school and other levies, but under the new budget, property owners will now pay 100 percent of the amount due on any new and replacement levies. The change does not affect renewals.

Springfield Trustee Bruce Killian added the state’s budget “was balanced by pushing the burden down [onto property owners].” He noted this loss in revenue is in addition to the decrease in local government funding, which is estimated to cost Springfield $300,000 this year.

Also during the meeting, Killian announced after 22 years of public service, he has decided not to seek re-election to his seat on the board. His term expires Dec. 31. Killian said this decision was made due to changes coming to the state retirement system and he also said he consulted with his wife, Mary Ann, before making the decision.

Killian served as a trustee from 1992 to 2007 and then as fiscal officer from 2008 to 2009. In 2009, he was elected to his current seat on the board.

Killian stated that when he first started, the township was in a “rough financial situation” and he is grateful residents realized this and passed levies to help put the township in good financial shape.

“I am grateful for the residents’ trust over the years,” he said. “We have been conservative in our spending, and I feel good leaving the township in [financial] order.”

Killian said a change he has noticed over the years is that residents are demanding more services and recreational opportunities from local government, which puts more demand on the budget.

He said government officials “need to continue to work together to make things better for everyone” in a cost-effective manner.

“I will miss working in the township,” said Killian. “There are some great people here.”

Killian said he plans to do some travelling after he retires.

According to his biography on Springfield Township’s website, Killian and his wife are life-long residents of Springfield. He grew up on a farm next to Milroy School, graduated from Archbishop Hoban High School in 1969 and majored in business administration at The University of Akron. He and his wife operated a grocery store in East Akron for almost 20 years. Killian continues to farm the family homestead, growing hay, corn and pumpkins. He is a member of the National Rifle Association, the American Motorcycle Association and the Summit County Farm Bureau, and he continues to serve as treasurer for the Summit County Township Association.

In other business at the meeting, trustees:

  • approved $1,882 in maintenance and repairs to a self-contained breathing apparatus for the Fire Department;
  • approved zoning text amendments as recommended by the Zoning Commission. The changes include the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing process, with the appeals no longer going to the Zoning Board, but instead going to the Court of Common Pleas; Planned Development districts, in which the applicant will meet with the zoning inspector for general compliance and county officials for comments; and fence heights, which increases from 42 inches to 48 inches on frontages, except for street corners, which will be 30 inches due to traffic safety considerations. For more details, contact the township Zoning Department;
  • granted authority to Parks and Recreation Director Doug Foltz to apply for a Community Development Block Grant fund for two projects. One seeks to continue to develop a walking trail along an abandoned rail line between Springfield and Lakemore. The other seeks funds to make improvements, including refurbishing restrooms, the shelter and a playground, at Fraley Park, located at Brunk and Neal roads; and
  • assigned work orders to PS Construction Group LLC for the removal of asbestos prior to demolition at 2081 Oakes Drive, 1411 Pin Oak Drive, 1335 Beach Drive Ext. and 2445 Sadler Ave.

Police Chief John Smith also announced the fifth annual Ron Victor Memorial Fishing Derby for children ages 4 through 15 will take place Aug. 3 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., with registration at 7 a.m.

Smith also advised residents about black bears, since one has been seen in the area on several occasions.

“You are going to see black bears,” he said. “They are not usually aggressive. Don’t overreact, don’t feed them and call police.”

The next trustees’ meeting will take place Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road.

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