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Local issues filed for November ballot

8/14/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Collins

MEDINA/SUMMIT COUNTIES — Voters living in the West Side Leader’s coverage area will see a ballot full of issues in the Nov. 4 General Election.

The 90-day filing deadline for the Board of Elections (BOE) in Summit and Medina counties was Aug. 6. The following includes a rundown of the issues that were filed for the ballot. As of presstime, issue numbers had not been assigned.

For more information, visit the websites of the Summit County BOE at www.summitcountyboe.com or the Medina County BOE at www.boe.co.medina.oh.us.

SUMMIT COUNTY

Copley

Copley voters will see replacement fire/EMS and road and bridge levies on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The three-year, 2.5-mill road and bridge levy would provide funds for the general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges, according to the ballot language. It would generate about $1.2 million a year, according to Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall.

The three-year, 3.3-mill fire/EMS levy would generate about $1.6 million a year, said Marshall. According to the ballot language, it would provide funds for equipment, salaries and operations of the fire department.

Richfield Joint Recreation District

Voters in Richfield Village and Richfield Township are being asked to approve a bond issue and tax levy for the Richfield Joint Recreation District.

The proposed 28-year, 1.25-mill bond issue would provide funds for the purpose of constructing, furnishing, equipping and otherwise improving recreational facilities and acquiring, clearing, improving and equipping their sites, according to the ballot language. Bonds would be issued in the amount $7.1 million, and levy proceeds would pay the debt charges on the bonds, as well as notes issued in anticipation of the bonds, costing homeowners $43.75 annually per $100,000 of home valuation, according to village officials.

The 10-year, 0.5-mill levy for the Joint Recreation District would provide funds for parks and recreational purposes, including acquiring, maintaining and operating recreational facilities and community centers, according to the ballot language.

The Joint Recreation District was formed earlier this year by the two communities to provide community programming in recreational, educational, social, cultural and athletic areas, according to the resolution creating the district. The district also was created to acquire property for constructing, operating and maintaining parks, playgrounds and play fields and to preserve and protect real property, such as the former Crowell-Hilaka Girl Scout property in the township, as parks and spaces for governmental, civic, educational or recreational activities, according to the resolution.

Richfield Township

Richfield Township voters also will see a police levy on the ballot.

The township already raises money for police services through a continuous levy, but the ballot measure increases the millage from 3.5 mills to 4.7 mills, according to township officials.

Summit County

Summit County voters will see a proposed 0.25 percent increase in the county sales and use tax on the ballot.

County Council voted unanimously Aug. 4 to change the original ballot question that included funding a Downtown Akron arena project with some proceeds of the tax increase.

The updated ballot proposal would still have funds from the sales tax increase go toward public safety, criminal justice and capital needs, just as in the original proposal, according to county officials. Also, the length of collection was limited to 10 years, rather than being permanent, as was originally proposed.

If approved, Summit County’s total sales tax would be 7 percent. According to the County Executive’s Chief of Staff Jason Dodson, the portion of sales tax for operating county government, 0.5 percent, is currently the lowest in the state.

The new figures indicate that of the estimated $227 million total proceeds collected over the 10-year period, $102.5 million would be spent to operate and maintain the Summit County Jail, according to County Executive Russ Pry’s office.

Of the remaining balance, $68 million would go toward replacing the county’s 800 megahertz emergency radio system; upgrading and consolidating the county’s 9-1-1 dispatch system; and for repairs, maintenance and improvements of county-owned facilities. Also, $57 million would go to the county’s General Fund, of which 70 percent is spent on public safety and criminal justice, according to Pry’s office.

If the sales tax increase passes in November, consumers would see the hike enacted April 1, 2015, according to Dodson. The county would begin receiving those funds in July, he said.

Voters also will see two proposed charter amendments on the ballot.

The first proposal asks whether the information technology and data processing operations should be consolidated in Summit County government by creating a County Information Technology Board and a Department of Information Technology.

The other proposal would set County Council’s organizational meeting for the first Monday of each year that is not a legal holiday.

 

MEDINA COUNTY

Sharon

Voters living in Sharon will see a five-year, 2.25-mill fire levy on the ballot.

The township currently has a 2-mill fire levy in place and trustees decided to increase the levy request by 0.25 mill. According to Fiscal Officer Anita Haas, figures received from the Medina County Auditor’s Office showed the 2.25-mill levy would generate $499,300 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $72 a year.

Granger

Renewal levies for Granger roads and fire/EMS will be on the ballot.

Voters in Granger Township will see a 1.5-mill renewal fire levy and a 0.5-mill renewal road levy. Both levies would be for five years.

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