Westerville city officials are hoping a small ballot won't stop voters from turning out in favor of a 2.6-mill fire levy on May 4.

Westerville city officials are hoping a small ballot won't stop voters from turning out in favor of a 2.6-mill fire levy on May 4.

The levy is needed to keep the fire department out of the red in 2011, City Manager Dave Collinsworth said. He said he's concerned that low voter turnout could present a challenge in getting the levy passed.

The levy will cost residents just under $80 per year for each $100,000 in property valuation. City and Blendon Township residents will vote on it in next week's primary election.

Without the levy, Fire Chief Bernie Ingles has said the department would see a $24,000 budget deficit in 2011, followed by a $3.3-million budget deficit in 2012.

If the levy fails, the city would have two more chances to pass a levy before the end of this year in an August special election or during the regular election in November, Collinsworth said. If a levy is not passed this year, the department would have to look at making cuts, he said.

Westerville voters last approved a fire levy in 2002. Projections at the time were that the 3.4-mill levy would fund the Division of Fire for six years.

Genoa Township also is on the ballot with two levies a five-year, 3.8-mill police levy and a five-year, 4.7-mill fire levy.

Genoa Township Police Chief Robert Taylor has said the police levy, which is expected to generate $3.6-million a year, would not be used for any personnel increases through its five-year life. He said the department will continue to try to save money by extending the life of its cruisers and by using motorcycles and bicycles more frequently.

The fire levy, which would generate $4.4-million annually, would help the township come closer to meeting national standards for fire protection, said Genoa Township Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt.

The standards say a department should have about 14 firefighters on duty every day, as opposed to the six on duty daily in Genoa Township, Honeycutt said.

Also in Westerville, voters will decide three liquor options from two local businesses.

Englefield Inc. is asking residents to approve weekday sales for Duchess, 796 S. State St.

The Tamarkin Co. has placed two issues on the ballot for GetGo, 672 N. State St., one seeking liquor permits to allow the sale of beer, wine and mixed drinks and one seeking to allow the sale of wine and mixed beverages on Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight.

In Blendon Township, Kroger, 5991 Sunbury Road, is seeking liquor options to allow weekday sales and Sunday sales from 10 a.m. to midnight. The Hatlestad Co. is seeking permission for weekday sales and Sunday sales from 10 a.m. to midnight for Brew Stirs, 6035 Sunbury Road.

On the state level, there is a proposed constitutional amendment to authorize the issuance of $700-million in bonds to continue the Ohio Third Frontier Program, an economic development program for high-tech businesses and jobs.

There is also a constitutional amendment to move the Columbus casino voters approved last November from the Arena District to the former Delphi plant on Columbus's West Side.

Also in Westerville and in Genoa and Blendon townships, voters will see contested primary races for several seats.

On the national level, in the 12th Congressional District, incumbent Pat Tiberi, a Republican from Genoa Township, is being challenged by Columbus resident Andrew Zukowski.

Eddie Florek and Travis Irvine will face off to be the Libertarian candidate for the seat in November. Democrat Paula Brooks, currently a Franklin County commissioner, faces no opposition in the 12th Congressional District primary, nor does Green Party write-in candidate Robert Fitrakis.

In Ohio's 3rd Senate District, seven Democrats will be on the ballot for the right to compete against incumbent Republican Kevin Bacon, of Minerva Park, and Libertarian William Yarbrough, of New Albany, in November.

They are Obetz resident James B. Wiley, Canal Winchester resident Starshemah M. Johnson, Gahanna residents Beverly T. Campbell and Cortez Lee Bogard, Bexley resident Benjamin J. Kessler, and Reynoldsburg residents Roxyanne C. Burrus and Mark Pfeifer.

In Ohio's 2nd House District, Republicans Andrew Brenner, of Powell; Beth Lear, of Galena; Mark E. Phillips, of Westerville; Traci L. Saliba, of Powell and Craig Schweitzer, of Powell, will be on the ballot. Democrat Richard Bird have no primary opposition.

In Ohio's 19th House District, Republican Anne Gonzales of Westerville, incumbent Democrat Marian Harris of Columbus and Libertarian Michael K. Johnston of Westerville are unopposed.

There are no contested races on the primary ballot for the 20th Ohio House District. Incumbent Democrat Nancy Garland, of New Albany, will face Libertarian Lawrence A. Binsky, of Bexley, and Republican Matthew J. Carle, of New Albany, in November.

There also are no contested primary races for the 21st Ohio House District, in which Democrat David W. Robinson and Republican Michael P. Duffey, both Worthington residents, are seeking the seat.