Fire district seeks levy passage


ELECTION PREVIEW

By D. Anthony Botkin - abotkin@civitasmedia.com



Election Day is Less than One Week Away

Secretary Husted outlines key dates and deadlines for upcoming May 2 Primary & Special Election

COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Hustedreminded voters the May 2nd Primary & Special Election is less than one week away and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Saturday, April 29th at noon.

With 307 local issues appearing across Ohio, voters in 74 counties have a local race or issue on the ballot this May. For information on local races, voters should contact their county board of elections.

Absentee Voting by Mail and In-Person

Ohio voters who have a May Primary and/or a Special Election have until Saturday, April 29th at noon to request an absentee ballot. Completed absentee ballots being returned by mail must be postmarked by May 1st. As the deadline nears, voters are encouraged to consider returning their absentee ballot in person to the board of elections to ensure it is received in time to be counted. For more information, visit MyOhioVote.com.

Secretary Husted has established uniform hours for in-person absentee voting to ensure all voters have fair and equal access to the ballot during the May 2nd Primary and Special Election. Ohio voters can vote over the course of four weeks, including the weekend before Election Day.

For more information, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office offers a full, detailed and interactive 2017 elections calendar, along with a detailed voting schedule.

Military & Overseas Voting

Early voting for military and overseas voters became available on March 18th. Military voters who have not yet submitted a request for absentee ballots in 2017 may still do so by visiting OhioMilitaryVotes.com. Overseas voters can visit OhioVoterPassport.com. There they can download the Federal Post Card Application, request an absentee ballot, read through frequently asked questions, track the status of their mailed ballot and sign up for election reminders via email and social media.

Voter Toolkit

The online Voter Toolkit is a one-stop location for all necessary voting information. Ohio voters can visit MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit to check their voter registration status, find their polling location, view their sample ballot and track their absentee ballot.

Get Election Updates and Ohio’s Virtual Voting Sticker

All voters are encouraged to connect with “OhioSOSHusted” on Facebook and Twitter to get election information and updates throughout the year. Here they can also get a virtual voting sticker badge to let their friends and followers know they’ve participated in the 2017 Primary and Special Election. Facebook users simply need to “like” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s official Facebook page to “wear” a virtual sticker on their wall. Twitter users may share their voting badge by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.

The Berkshire, Sunbury, Trenton and Galena Fire District (B.S.T.G.) has placed a 4.85-mill tax levy on the May 2 election ballot. The district is asking voters to renew the current 3-mill tax, expiring at the end of 2017, with an additional 1.85-mill increase, to raise $2.4 million annually for district operations.

The five-year levy, if passed by voters, would cost a homeowner $149 per year for a property valuation of $100,000 beginning in 2018.

According to Chief Jeff Wilson, the county auditor’s office said the additional millage would cost the residents within the district, based on a $100,000 home value, an additional $64.75 annually.

Wilson said the district serves a 52-square-mile area of two townships and two villages where the median value of a home is $256,000. Currently the district is seeing a surge in housing and commercial developments.

Since the last levy passed in 2011, Wilson said the district has put money aside to take care of trucks, for replacement of equipment and to remodel the station.

“Everything we’re paying for is cash out of pocket,” Wilson said. “We’re not borrowing any money, it’s all planned for. That was one of the things we had to impress on our board. It looks high, but for the first couple of years you’re just going to bank money to help pay for the last five-years.

Wilson said the district wanted a two- to three-year levy but the board would have liked one for five or 10 years. With the area’s rate of growth predicting the district’s cost in 10 years would be hard.

“That’s a long time, especially in a high growth area to predict where we’re going,” he said. “One of the things I think looks terrible is when we’re supposed be fiscally responsible and planning for the future and we screw it up by not getting it right.”

Kevin Kline, deputy chief, said the levy will be used to replace equipment and add staff for two fully-manned rescue trucks.

“Our fire response runs have gone up a little bit,” he said. “We’re trying to get two rescue trucks out to care for our district so we take care of our own and won’t need to call mutual aid.”

Mutual aid is an agreement between first responders to lend assistance to other jurisdictions.

Kline said the district is also losing a lot of good firefighters by using part-timers because they are hired to full-time positions elsewhere.

“That hurts us,” he said. “We’re a training ground for central Ohio. We train them and they leave. We need to make sure there is a full-time position for them to seek.”

“If it were just the Village of Sunbury we wouldn’t be full-time,” Wilson said. “But when you cover 52 square miles …”

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ELECTION PREVIEW

By D. Anthony Botkin

abotkin@civitasmedia.com

Election Day is Less than One Week Away

Secretary Husted outlines key dates and deadlines for upcoming May 2 Primary & Special Election

COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Hustedreminded voters the May 2nd Primary & Special Election is less than one week away and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Saturday, April 29th at noon.

With 307 local issues appearing across Ohio, voters in 74 counties have a local race or issue on the ballot this May. For information on local races, voters should contact their county board of elections.

Absentee Voting by Mail and In-Person

Ohio voters who have a May Primary and/or a Special Election have until Saturday, April 29th at noon to request an absentee ballot. Completed absentee ballots being returned by mail must be postmarked by May 1st. As the deadline nears, voters are encouraged to consider returning their absentee ballot in person to the board of elections to ensure it is received in time to be counted. For more information, visit MyOhioVote.com.

Secretary Husted has established uniform hours for in-person absentee voting to ensure all voters have fair and equal access to the ballot during the May 2nd Primary and Special Election. Ohio voters can vote over the course of four weeks, including the weekend before Election Day.

For more information, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office offers a full, detailed and interactive 2017 elections calendar, along with a detailed voting schedule.

Military & Overseas Voting

Early voting for military and overseas voters became available on March 18th. Military voters who have not yet submitted a request for absentee ballots in 2017 may still do so by visiting OhioMilitaryVotes.com. Overseas voters can visit OhioVoterPassport.com. There they can download the Federal Post Card Application, request an absentee ballot, read through frequently asked questions, track the status of their mailed ballot and sign up for election reminders via email and social media.

Voter Toolkit

The online Voter Toolkit is a one-stop location for all necessary voting information. Ohio voters can visit MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit to check their voter registration status, find their polling location, view their sample ballot and track their absentee ballot.

Get Election Updates and Ohio’s Virtual Voting Sticker

All voters are encouraged to connect with “OhioSOSHusted” on Facebook and Twitter to get election information and updates throughout the year. Here they can also get a virtual voting sticker badge to let their friends and followers know they’ve participated in the 2017 Primary and Special Election. Facebook users simply need to “like” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s official Facebook page to “wear” a virtual sticker on their wall. Twitter users may share their voting badge by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.