Licking County News

May 6 primary election

Etna voters to decide third road levy request since 2012


Etna Township trustees will seek a 1.5-mill road and bridge levy on the May 6 primary ballot.

Licking County Auditor Michael Smith estimated the levy would generate $518,216.

The levy would cost township property owners an additional $52.50 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Township voters rejected 1.5-mill road levies in May 2013 and November 2012.

Trustee John Carlisle said the township has been trying to maintain its roads on a 10- to 12-year cycle, but the township doesn't generate enough funds for roadwork.

Fiscal Officer Walter Rogers said the township in 2014 is expected to collect $240,550 from real-estate taxes, $105,000 in fuel-tax receipts and $85,000 from the automobile-license tax, which totals $430,550 for road and bridge repairs.

Rogers said the township has budgeted $218,500 in 2014 for salaries and benefits for the three full-time employees of the road department.

"This leaves the township $212,050 per year for fuel, material, repairs and replacement equipment," Rogers said in an email.

Rogers said the funds are "adequate to cover our fuel, repairs, material and provide for timely equipment replacement but leaves nothing for actual street and road replacement." He said the township "is responsible for nearly 52 miles of streets and rural roads," the majority of which are in subdivisions.

Carlisle said the cost to replace one mile of roadway is $100,000.

Rogers said the township has been using grant funds to pave roads but no grants have been awarded this year.

In addition, Carlisle said, the township's road and bridge fund is separate from any money that will be contributed to the Ohio Department of Transportation's repairs to state Route 310.

ODOT will replace the bridge over Interstate 70 in 2015 and widen state Route 310 north to Etna Crest Boulevard.

The project is expected to cost $3 million to $3.5 million.

Etna Township officials also are working to find money to extend five lanes with pedestrian and bicycle lanes on Route 310 north to Etna Parkway and improve the off-ramps at Interstate 70, which could cost an estimated $12.6 million. The township is eligible to receive $9,984,000 in state grants for the project.

Carlisle said the township will not move forward if it cannot find funds from other revenue sources for the project.

Carlisle also said the road and bridge fund will not be used for repairs to state Route 310.