Trumbull transit levy goes down to defeat

By Ed Runyan


The levy designed to create a seamless transition between the busing service called Niles Trumbull Transit and a countywide service called Trumbull Transit suffered a loss.

Tom Harwood, a member of the levy committee, said Tuesday night he believes one reason the 0.5-mill, five-year levy failed is because voters are against any increase in taxes.

The ballot language for the levy didn’t help, and voters were “distrustful of the Trumbull County commissioners handling transportation matters this past year,” he said.

The levy will probably reappear at a later date, Harwood said, because “the need isn’t going to go away.”

Niles Mayor Ralph Infante told county commissioners early this year Niles would no longer operate Niles-Trumbull Transit effective Jan. 1, 2012. The county commissioners put the levy on the ballot to provide the funding to continue the service.

The countywide levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 house $17.50 per year. It would have raised $1.7 million per year.

Commissioner Paul Heltzel has said that if the levy failed, the county would attempt to run the service with the $635,000 already designated for transportation that comes from the countywide senior services levy.

Voters said no by an even larger margin to the other countywide levy on the ballot, a one-year, 0.23-mill additional levy for maintenance and improvements at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds. It would have raised $785,931 and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $7.04 in 2012.

In Weathersfield, voters narrowly defeated a 6.6-mill, 30-year bond issue that would have allowed the school district to conduct a $24 million renovation project. Damon Dohar, Weathersfield superintendent, said losing by about 17 votes means it’s worth another try, probably in March.

“We need better facilities for our kids. They deserve the best, and that’s what we’re going to try to give them,” he said.

The bond issue would have generated more than $9 million for the local share of the project.

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