Levy for improvements has full council backing
Powell City Council voted unanimously last week to finalize a 10-year, 1.8-mill capital improvements levy proposal for the Nov. 6 ballot.
At its July 17 meeting, council voted 6-0 to place the issue on the fall ballot. Councilwoman Sara Marie Brenner was absent but submitted a letter stating she would have voted to approve the issue had she been present.
The millage for the levy issue was approved by council in June and certified by the county auditor shortly thereafter. It heard two readings at public meetings before receiving final approval.
Brenner missed the meeting to attend the national conference for Women Impacting Public Policy in Washington, D.C., a group for which she serves as an executive adviser.
Her letter of support was read aloud before council voted.
"If I were there tonight, I would vote in support of sending this issue to the ballot. Ultimately, the residents of Powell will decide," she wrote.
She repeated her reservations about the length of the bond issue -- she preferred five or seven years to the approved 10-year repayment period -- but concluded the issue is a "victory" for residents who shot down a proposed income-tax increase in 2010.
Mayor Richard Cline said the agreement among council members should reassure voters the levy request is warranted.
"There is a unanimous consensus on council that this proposal is the right thing to do to address this city's capital improvements needs," he said.
The proposal effectively is a renewal of the city's existing parks levy, which expires next year. If passed, it wouldn't raise taxes.
The proposed levy would generate about $7.2 million over its 10-year duration. It would continue to cost taxpayers about $55.13 for every $100,000 in home property value, and collection wouldn't begin until after the old issue expires.
About $1 million of the $7.2 million generated by the levy would fund repairs for city roads.
Other proposed capital improvements projects include:
* Creation of Seldom Seen Park, just north of Seldom Seen Road and west of the railroad tracks. The park would include baseball diamonds, soccer fields and a new headquarters for the public service department.
* Completion of the Murphy Parkway connection to Liberty Road. The project would complete the city's bypass system, which aims to provide an alternate east-west route in all four quadrants of the city to alleviate traffic congestion.
* Installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Sawmill Parkway and Village Club Drive, another project to improve traffic flow.
* Construction of new bike paths and bike-path connections. Paths would be developed to connect every part of the city to downtown Powell, and other paths would help connect Powell to Liberty Township.