Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Some voters face 5 local issues

Schools, police, fire on ballots

By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer Contributor

        SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — Voters here and in the Village of Addyston both face two county issues and three local levy issues on Nov. 6.

        “That's a fair amount of reading to do when you get into the voting booth,” said Hamilton County Board of Elections Director Julie Stautberg said of those voters, who have more levies to sort through than any others in the county.

        In Springfield Township, nearly a third of the township's 26,185 registered voters reside in the Finneytown Local School District, which is asking for a 7.95-mill additional, continuing levy for current operating expenses. The levy would cost the owner of a house with an assessed value of $100,000 an additional $232 annually.

        Aside from the school levy, these 8,240 voters will also decide two township levies: a 10.11-mill, continuing replacement levy with an increase for police services and a 8-mill continuing replacement levy with an increase for fire and emergency services.

        According to Township Administrator Michael Hinnenkamp, the police levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home around $8.30 per month in additional taxes and the fire levy around $10 per month in additional taxes.

        The township, Mr. Hinnenkamp said, is seeking to replace and increase both levies — passed in 1997 — to keep up with inflation and the high costs of equipment and personnel.

        “Those revenues are generally frozen in time,” he said, adding that the funds would go toward a five-year plan that includes hiring five police officers and 18 full-time medic/firefighters.

        Meanwhile, 755 registered voters in Addyston will decide an additional 2-mill, five-year fire and emergency services levy and two five-year renewal levies: 0.5 mills for sewage disposal and 1 mill for water supply.

        According to village clerk Margaret Ann Dozier, the village terminated its fire department in March 2000 and has since contracted with Miami Township for emergency services.

        These services, she said, are paid for out of the general fund. If passed, she said, the levy would also maintain the five new outdoor emergency warning sirens and allow officials to address the vacant fire station. The two renewals, she said, are needed to maintain and upgrade the local waterworks and pay for contracted sewer services.

        Basing her costs on the valuation on a $40,000 home, costs per homeowner would be about $28 a year for the fire levy, about $14 per year to renew the water levy and about $7 per year to renew the sewer levy.

        For voters, deciding five levies might seem like a lot of information to digest but it's certainly not an anomaly.

        “In 1997, everyone in the county had at least five issues to vote on,” the election director said, adding that in that same year Mariemont had seven issues.

        “It just kind of depends on the year,” she said.


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