Few attend hearing for Fayette levy requests 2012.10.24

Written by David Green.

The audience was small for Fayette's public information meeting regarding two levy requests in the Nov. 6 general election, but that doesn't mean the discussion was also light. Several questions followed a presentation by village administrator Steve Blue.

Replacing the levy updates the value to current property assessments rather than simply renewing the existing value. Blue first addressed the request for replacement of the existing levy for parks and recreation. The park levy was last replaced in 1998, so it won't bring as stark a change as the general operating levy that hasn't been replaced since passage in 1968.

The park levy would bring an additional $5,600 to help with general maintenance needs including resurfacing the basketball courts, removal of dead and dying trees and stumps, ball diamond upkeep, repair of the broken scoreboard and maintenance of playground equipment.

Replacement of the 2.9-mill general operating levy would add about $21,000 to village coffers. Although the money cannot be targeted for a specific purpose, village council members know exactly how they want to use the money: to repay a 10-year loan for a street paving project. A grant covers nearly half of the $401,000 project. The village's loan costs nearly match the additional funds that replacement would bring in.

Nearly all village streets will be resurfaced either through the upcoming sewer project or through the project listed above.

Blue notes that the replacement request does not affect any property tax other than that paid to the village.

The owner of a home valued at $75,000 would pay an additional $54 a year, or about a dollar a week.

"That's something we feel is affordable to most everybody," Blue said.

For a $50,000 home, the increase would lead to an additional $36 a year. Residents who are 65 years or older, or are disabled, can apply for a homestead exemption. This subtracts $25,000 from the value of a home for taxation purposes. The exemption also applies to agricultural land.

To compute a tax rate, visit the county auditor's website at fultoncountyoh.com or call the auditor's office at 419/337-9200.

SCHEDULE—Eugene Rosinski asked when the road repair would begin. Blue said there are three projects scheduled next year: the sewer separation project; the street resurfacing; and a road project near the TRW plant. Construction should be complete by late summer or early fall.

STREETS—Rosinski also wondered about the width of streets. Some streets are narrower in certain areas, Blue said, and the aim is to create a uniform width. Curbing is not included in the project. Some areas that have streets in very good condition will not be included in the resurfacing. State highway is not included, although ODOT has scheduled repaving on U.S. 20 in 2014.

The TRW project will address the road on the north side of the plant where pavement is crumbling.

TRUCK ROUTE—Steve Snider asked about the idea to make Industrial Parkway a truck route to U.S. 127. Blue said he is not aware of any plans for that. The township owns half of the road where it passes through the village, he said, and township officials would be asked to cooperate in the cost of any improvements made in town.

Police chief Jason Simon pointed out that the creation of a truck route would probably attract a lot of car traffic, as well, something that business owners would not favor. Over the course of a day, he said, a truck passes through Fayette an average of every 90 seconds, with very few traffic incidents.

Street repair needs are one of the most frequent complaints lodged at the village office, Blue said.

"This is the time to jump on it and take advantage of that," he said about the grant/loan program.

PARKS—Rosinski wondered what would happen if the park replacement fails. Blue said there's sufficient money for basic operations, but larger projects will take longer to tackle.

Blue was asked if non-residents pay a fee to use the parks. Blue stated that fees are charged for softball tournaments and for the school to use the facilities.

Audience member Burt Blue noted that many township residents use the parks at no cost. When Blue was a park board member several years ago, the township board was approached about contributing funds to the operations of parks, but township trustees were not interested.

Administrator Blue said the some communities have joint park districts in cooperation with townships.

Mayor Ruth Marlatt suggested that costs should be examined and shown to township residents. In that way, she said, they could see how little financial support would cost and how much it would benefit the park program which is used by everyone.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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