Jackson Township heads to ballot with 4-mill, five-year fire levy

ALAN FROMAN
afroman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Jackson Township’s trustees Tuesday, Aug. 4, voted 2-1 to place a five-year, 4-mill fire levy on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Trustees Ron McClure and Jim Rauck voted in favor of the resolution and David Burris voted against it.

Burris expressed opposition to placing a measure on the ballot in recent meetings, questioning why a levy was needed this year.

McClure and Rauck, voting in favor of a levy, pointed to the increasing expenses for the fire department and the budget projections that show revenue not being able to keep pace.

Grove City officials have indicated their willingness to sit down with the township and discuss potential ways the city could help the township, Burris said.

"They are willing to help us with funding to keep us off the ballot," Burris said. "I was never for (a levy.) I'm even less for it" with Grove City's offer.

McClure said he is concerned the city's contribution would only be "a Band-Aid" and not a long-term solution to issues.

The city and township have only had initial discussions, Burris said, and it isn't reasonable to expect the city to have a long-term proposal in such a short time before a decision needed to be made regarding a 2020 levy.

The filing deadline for the Nov. 3 election is Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Placing a measure on the November ballot will simply give voters a chance to decide whether a levy is needed and appropriate now, McClure said.

The trustees opted not to consider a resolution for a separate and individual levy option which would have been a replacement of an existing permanent 7-mill levy voters approved in 1985.

In June, the trustees had a resolution for a renewal of the 7-mill levy and the Franklin County Auditor’s Office indicated it would collect the same amount as before. Due to increased property values, the 1985 levy is being collected at an effective rate of 2.6 mills.

The trustees revised the June resolution to make it a replacement levy that would bring the effective tax millage back to the voted 7-mill rate.

The permanent levy will continue to be collected at its current effective rate no matter what voters decide about the new ballot measure.

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