Pickerington Times-Sun

Violet Township

Research prompts trustees to hold off on road levy

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With the announcement that Violet Township is now going to pursue a fire levy on the May 6 primary election ballot, a road levy under consideration for May won't be pursued.

Violet Township had hired Columbus-based consulting firm Allerton Hill to test the waters regarding public support for a road levy to help offset state budget reductions.

Dec. 18, the trustees voted 3-0 to approve a resolution requesting the Fairfield County Auditor certify the township's current tax valuation and the dollar amount of revenue to be generated by a 2-mill road levy.

Now, such a request won't be pursued.

Township Engineer Greg Butcher said public opinion in support of a road levy ultimately proved too tepid to justify the effort.

"The Board of Trustees have elected not to place a road operating levy on the May 6 primary election (ballot)," Butcher said.

"The results of the recent telephone survey indicated only marginal support for such a levy," said Butcher, adding the trustees instead are "opting to consider placing a fire levy on the May primary election ballot."

The trustees will instead also turn their focus towards the support of a proposed statewide ballot measure that, if successful, could increase funding for projects for local governments such as the township.

The trustees went on the record Jan. 15 to throw their support behind the ballot issue that would increase bonding to pay for Ohio Public Works Commission funding to local governments for road, bridge and sewer work.

OPWC currently splits up $150 million each year to help pay for projects statewide through its State Capital Improvements Program.

The proposed May 6 ballot measure will ask voters to approve an increase to $175 million for the first five years and then for $200 million in each of the next five years after that.

Under the proposal, no new taxes would be imposed.

The proposal passed in the Ohio Senate by a 31-0 vote Jan. 14 and is now headed for a vote in the Ohio House.

"I think it's important to support that and its important we reach out to our local legislators and ask for their support," Butcher said.

"It makes a difference to local governments," he said.

"This is nothing new and shocking to voters," said Trustee Terry Dunlap Sr.

"It's how we get benefit of that $175 million," he said.

Dunlap suggested the township send letters of support for the ballot measure to Ohio Sen. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) and state Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster).

"I will be happy to put one together," Butcher said.

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