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Bath trustees place parks renewal levy on ballot

1/30/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

At the Jan. 21 meeting, the Bath Township Board of Trustees moved forward with placing a renewal of the 0.75-mill park levy on the May 6 Primary Election ballot.

Bath’s current 0.75-mill park levy expires in December, and due to budgetary concerns and evaluations, there is a continuing need for park operating revenues, according to township officials.

At the end of 2013, trustees asked the Summit County Fiscal Office to calculate how much revenue would be lost if the levy was changed to 0.71 mill, and if that was a financially good decision.

Due to changes made by the state last year to property tax rollbacks, if the levy millage were changed, it would cost taxpayers more money to provide the parks with the same amount of funding, according to Fiscal Officer Sharon Troike.

“Keeping the levy at the current 0.75 [mill] will cost taxpayers an estimated $22.97 annually for each $100,000 of [property] valuation,” said Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli.

If the levy is renewed, it will be in place for five years and the first tax collection would be in 2015, according to township officials.

Also during the meeting, trustees discussed whether or not to post and advertise for the assistant service director/parks director position. Current Assistant Service Director/Parks Director Michael Rorar resigned effective Feb. 15.

Trustees unanimously approved appointing Alan Garner as the interim park supervisor, but were divided when it came to advertising for a full-time replacement.

Trustee Elaina Goodrich discussed the positive things Rorar did while holding the position and said a replacement should be sought as soon as possible to ensure that all of Rorar’s hard work continues and the parks are not neglected in the meantime.

Goodrich also said dividing this position 50/50 between parks and service has worked well for several years, and the township has tried other ways to divide the workload that haven’t been as successful. She said it was unnecessary to make any changes to the job description before advertising for the position.

Trustee Becky Corbett said the trustees barely had time to digest the information that Rorar was leaving and hadn’t had time to consider if there is a better way to divide this position. She said the parks are a wonderful asset to the township and Garner will continue to keep them that way in the future.

Corbett said before looking for a full-time replacement that trustees should thoughtfully evaluate the administrative organization and consider all options. She also suggested there might be a way to divide the responsibilities Rorar held in a more financially reasonable way to save the township money.

Trustees voted 2-1, with Goodrich dissenting, to table a motion to begin looking for a replacement for Rorar until at least the next meeting, when trustees have had more time to consider all the options.

In other business:

  • Trustees approved a resolution for the Bath Fire Department to apply for the State Fire Marshal Training Grant. This is a grant that reimburses the department for training completed throughout the year, according to township officials.
  • Trustees approved a resolution to secure 2078 Glengary Drive. Last year, trustees voted to condemn the property, and since that time there have been several break-ins. This resolution will allow township Zoning Inspector/Administrator William Funk to secure windows and doors to prevent people from entering the property.
  • Trustees agreed to advertise and post for the positions of seasonal parks laborers and seasonal service laborers. According to Service Director Caine Collins, he is looking to fill two parks positions and two service positions. Applicants must be age 18 or older, have a good work ethic, and grounds experience would be helpful but is not necessary.

The board’s next meeting is set for Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the trustees’ meeting room of the Bath Administration Building, 3864 W. Bath Road.

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