Jefferson Township residents on March 6 will see the same 2-mill levy that was defeated in November.

Jefferson Township residents on March 6 will see the same 2-mill levy that was defeated in November.

Township administrator Tom Spring said the levy is for current expenses for the general fund, but over half of it would be used to maintain roads.

"We have 46 miles of road and don't have funds to do maintenance," he told ThisWeek.

The five-year levy would generate $975,000 during the first year of collection in 2013.

If approved, it would cost $61.25 annually for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

Spring said the township needs to find a stable funding source.

"Anything of substance we've been able to do has been through a grant," he said. "We've tried to shift expenditures around. It gets more and more difficult. We have to just keep trying to find revenue sources."

The township anticipates the $124,000 it had received from the state last year in Local Government Fund revenue would be cut in half.

The township's general-fund revenues total $895,000 this year, and $823,000 has been temporarily appropriated, Spring said.

"We were able to accomplish this by charging for overhead and reassigning some of our costs for administrative services rendered to other departments," he said. "It does not solve the long-term general-fund budget picture, however, in light of the slashing of the Local Government Fund, reduction in real estate values, the elimination of the estate tax that has averaged more than $100,000 a year in revenue and other state budget cuts. It also does not address the need to fund maintenance of Jefferson Township's 46 miles of roads."

In 2011, Jefferson Township received less than $3,000 per mile of road in gasoline and highway funds from the state, Spring said. In contrast, Washington Township, with 1.9 miles of road, received more than $45,000 per mile.

Thanks to a mild winter and reducing salt purchases by 20 percent, Spring said, the township plans to participate in the Franklin County engineer's township road-resurfacing program for the first time in many years.

"The $6,000 we were able to free up in the road budget to do crack-sealing will do three streets in one of the subdivisions," Spring said. "It's a drop in the bucket but better than nothing."

In the spring, the township's service crew is expected to work 10-hour, four-day weeks, when daylight hours are longer.

Services superintendent Joe Gerhart said the extended workday would minimize downtime and be especially beneficial when performing ditch and road repairs. The township anticipates the four-day workweek also could save utility and overtime costs.

"We strive to be responsible stewards of the tax dollars, and even with passage of the levy, Jefferson Township still will have the lowest township tax rate in unincorporated Franklin County," Spring said.

Early voting began Jan. 31 and ends March 2.