Delaware News

Galena levy back on November ballot

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The village of Galena will return to the ballot with an operating levy in November after May's levy lost by nine votes.

The 2-mill replacement property-tax levy shot down by primary election voters would have cost homeowners about $70 per $100,000 in property value. The current levy, which expires Dec. 31, costs homeowners $61.26 per $100,000 in property value.

The levy was defeated by a count o 48 votes to 39 votes.

Village Council decided at its meeting Monday, June 16, to place an identical four-year, 2-mill replacement levy on the November ballot. The $38,000 it would generate would be used only for village operations.

Council members said the move was spurred by the low voter turnout in May.

Council approved a resolution last week to request the county auditor to certify the levy request.

"Hopefully, we will get the valuation back, and I expect council will pass a resolution next month to put the levy back on the ballot," said Jeanna Burrell, Galena administrator.

In light of the failed levy in May, council's finance committee recommended budget cuts that council has approved.

The village has decided not to cut day-to-day services or to reduce special events, parks and additional services that they say "make Galena a good place to live," Burrell said.

Instead, the village will defer the 2015 Ohio Public Works Commission Walnut Street Phase 4 grant, the 2015 Preservation Parks Community Parks Improvement grant and the 2015 Clean Ohio Trails grant.

Leaders said the village no longer can afford to provide the matching funds for the grants.

Burrell said the village has not decided what to do if the levy fails in November.

"We have decided on the cuts needed as of right now," she said. "We will discuss this in the midst of 2015 budgeting in November."

The village receives a 1-percent income tax and some county- and state-administered taxes. The village has a yearly budget of about $1 million.

Burrell said one-third of the village's budget is for the sewer utility, and $70,000 is set aside for the Ohio Department of Transportation for use on state Route 3.

The remaining money is used to maintain streets, storm sewers, facilities and parks, administration, communication, finances, grants, zoning and property maintenance, Burrell said.

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