Statewide races may be dominating the airwaves, but voters in the Olentangy Valley area will see a ballot packed with local issues that will affect their daily lives -- and wallets.
From an attempt at a rare tax increase in Powell to a new police station in Genoa Township, the future of local municipalities hangs in the balance on a number of issues.
Those standing in line next week will appreciate early voters, but for anyone waiting for Tuesday, Nov. 6, to vote, here's what you need to know:
Powell voters will have the option of raising the city's income-tax rate in a move that would break a long-running Powell trend.
In August, Powell City Council voted to place an issue on the Nov. 6 general election ballot that would raise the city's income tax from 0.75 percent to 1.15 percent while increasing the tax credit from 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent for residents who live in Powell but work in and pay income taxes to another municipality.
Ballot language also mandates that 25 percent of all income-tax revenue be dedicated to infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
According to the city, a resident who lives and works in Powell earning $100,000 per year would see a $400 net increase in taxes annually if the issue is approved by voters. A Powell resident earning $100,000 who works outside the city and pays income tax to another municipality would see an increase of $150 annually.
The increase is projected to bring the city $20 million over 10 years and largely is designed to provide funds for the city's infrastructure needs, such as repairs to roads, bike paths and sewage systems.
It's been 27 years since Powell increased its income tax, which currently sits among the lowest in Ohio.
Check out this levy
All of Delaware County will weigh in Nov. 6 on a ballot issue that could result in a new library for Powell.
Voters who live in the Delaware County District Library system will be asked to approve a 1-mill renewal levy that library officials say won't raise their property-tax bills.
The issue is a renewal of the same operating levy that has been in effect for the past 10 years. It costs property owners about $38 annually per $100,000 in home valuation and is expected to raise about $5 million this year for the system, which includes libraries in Powell, Orange Township, Delaware and Ostrander, said library Director George Needham.
The library system also receives $2 million annually in state public-library funds.
Needham said the levy will allow the system to pay off its Orange Township branch and replace the Powell branch entirely within two years.
Powell's 5,000-square-foot branch was built in 1993 and has been deemed too small for the number of people it serves.
A helping hand
The Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities is asking voters to approve a 0.4-mill permanent operating levy.
If approved, the levy would cost county homeowners $14 annually per $100,000 in property valuation when collection starts in 2019.
The board provides services such as early intervention for disabled children and helping adults with daily needs, learning new skills, finding jobs and connecting with resources and social groups.
The new levy is part of a plan to reduce millage in 2020 by letting an existing 0.56-mill levy expire. That levy currently costs homeowners $16.36 a year for each $100,000 in home valuation.
Another 2.1-mill levy may be reduced when it is scheduled to be renewed in 2020 if the new levy is approved, officials said.
Currently, 79 percent of the people served by the board are children. The annual average cost to serve a school-age child is $2,101, according to the board.
During the next five years, nearly 160 of those children will become adults and still will need services, which average $16,293 annually per individual and are expected to increase the board's expenses by nearly $8.5 million in those five years, officials said.
In Liberty Township, voters will decide whether to aggregate township gas and electric.
By aggregating the utilities, the township aims to enter into service agreements designed to save money for residents and the township by pooling buying power. The gas and electric issues are separate on the ballot.
In Orange Township, voters will decide on a fire levy's renewal.
The township is asking voters to renew a 7-mill levy that will fund Orange Township's fire department. The levy will not increase residents' taxes and will continue to cost about $214 annually per $100,000 of property valuation.
In Genoa Township, voters will decide on a 10-year, $7 million bond issue and a zoning referendum.
The township is requesting the 0.8-mill bond issue to fund construction of a new police station. The township's current station was built in the 1970s.
According to township leaders, residents can expect the bond issue to cost them about $28 annually per $100,000 in property valuation.
Township residents also will vote to allow or reverse a zoning decision made by the board of trustees in April.
Trustees voted to rezone about 43 acres from rural residential to planned residential development at 4741 Tussic St.
Early birds sought
Only a few days remain before the polls open Nov. 6, but state leaders are encouraging residents to vote early if possible.
Absentee voting by mail and early in-person voting began Oct. 10, and voters can go to the Delaware County Board of Elections at 2079 U.S. Route 23 N. in Delaware until 2 p.m. Nov. 5 to vote early and skip potential Election Day lines.
For more information about voting and for sample ballots, visit boardofelections.co.delaware.oh.us.