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Springfield requesting road levy renewal

10/3/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

SPRINGFIELD — Voters in Springfield will see a renewal of a five-year, 1-mill road levy on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot.

The levy, Issue No. 40, is not a new tax, according to Fiscal Officer Joy Dies. She said the levy was first put on the ballot in 1978 but expired in 1992. Trustees put the levy back on the ballot in 1994, and it has been approved by voters ever since. The current levy expires in 2014, and the new collection would commence in 2015.

According to Road Department Superintendent Ted Weinsheimer, Issue No. 40 is collected at an effective rate of 0.63 mill.

Dies said the levy collects $178,993 annually, based on the most recent estimates by the Summit County Fiscal Office. If the levy renewal is approved, the cost for an owner of a $100,000 home would remain at $100 annually.

Township officials said the revenue is used for general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges.

“This renewal levy is one of two levies vital to the operation of the Road Department,” said Weinsheimer.

He added the department receives 30 percent of its total funding from the General Fund, and due to state cuts in funding at the local level, such as the Estate Tax and the Local Government Fund, that fund is experiencing a shortfall in excess of $300,000. That makes the need for the levy more critical, according to Weinsheimer.

He said the department is responsible for 70 miles of roads and right-of-ways in the township. The work includes annual road maintenance, which covers resurfacing, as well as patching potholes and maintaining roadside drainage ditches, driveway culverts and storm water lines. In addition, the department mows right-of-way berms and does tree and brush trimming in the right-of-way where needed to maintain proper and safe sight distances for motorists. In the winter, the department does snow and ice control to keep motorists safe on township roads, he said.

According to Weinsheimer, the department also purchases and maintains equipment to accomplish these tasks, and installs and maintains all street signs.

“This levy does not increase taxes, and it ensures that we keep the road system to a level our residents have come to expect,” said Weinsheimer.

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