Licking County News

Two countywide levies on May 6 ballots

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Licking County voters on May 6 will decide levies for the board of developmental disabilities and the soil and water conservation district.

The Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities will ask voters for a replacement levy totaling 1.6 mills.

The board's 1.3-mill continuing levy was placed on the ballot with a request for an additional 0.3 mill.

The last request for additional millage was May 1987, according to the board.

If approved, the 1.6-mill replacement levy would generate approximately $6 million per year and cost county homeowners an additional $56 per year per $100,000 of assessed property valuation.

The board generates money from one other levy, a 1-mill, five-year levy that was first approved in 1987 and last renewed in March 2012.

This year, the board of developmental disabilities will provide services and support to more than 1,500 eligible children, adults and their families, according to the board.

Board Superintendent Nancy Neely said the number of eligible children and adults has tripled since 1987 while the board has managed state and federal funding cuts by consolidating programs and partnering with local agencies to stretch its resources.

"The last time our board asked for additional millage was in 1987," Neely said. "Since that time, the number of people eligible to receive our services has tripled. As Licking County has grown, we have grown and this levy will allow us to continue providing quality services and supports to Licking County residents."

Meanwhile, Jim Kiracofe, program administrator for the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District, said the district's 0.15-mill, five-year levy would generate about $550,000 per year to support small farmers and develop community gardens.

If it is approved, the cost for county homeowners would be about $5.25 per year per $100,000 of assessed property valuation.

"That's less than you're going to pay for a meal anywhere," Kiracofe said.

Kiracofe said the levy will support the demand for locally grown food. He said many communities and religious organizations are trying to establish community gardens, but they need hands-on assistance.

"We have 109 different types of soil in this county," Kiracofe said.

Also, the county could provide tools and equipment for community gardeners and small farmers wanting to increase local production, he said.

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