Liberty voters face levies for roads, 911 replacement
By danny restivo
Township residents will be asked to approve two new tax levies in November.
One is a five-year, 0.45-mill levy to offset the cost of transferring the township’s 911 operations to Trumbull County; the other is a five-year 1.25-mill additional levy for roads.
In 2008, voters approved a 1.25-mill levy to help fund the township’s 911 dispatch center. That levy expired in June when the dispatch center closed, and those duties were assumed by the Trumbull County 911 Center in Howland.
That same month, trustees approved a 0.45-mill levy for the ballot to help fund Liberty’s involvement with the county center.
Though residents would see a 0.80-mill decrease in their 911 services levy, their overall taxes would increase if they approve the 1.25-mill road levy.
The 0.45-mill levy would bring in $96,000 a year to the township and cost someone with a $100,000 home $13.78 annually.
If the 0.45 mill levy is defeated, the Liberty fire and police departments will be forced to pay $10,000 and $75,000, respectively, from their own budgets. The money from their departments would to fund Liberty’s participation at the Trumbull County dispatch center, said township Administrator Pat Ungaro.
“The road levy is specifically for repaving and not for payroll,” he added.
The road levy is for the general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, and repair of the streets, roads and bridges.
Ungaro points to Murray Hill Drive and Shady Road as two reasons for the levy. Both are high-traffic areas near the elementary and middle school, and in desperate need of repair, he said.
If the levy is passed, Ungaro said the township potentially could receive roughly $600,000 in additional funding through grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation. He said if the township provides 30 percent funding for road paving, the state possibly could provide the remainder through those grants.
If approved, the 1.25-mill road levy would bring in $268,000 per year and cost a person with a $100,000 home $38.28 annually.
A 1-mill renewal levy for the fire department and 1.5-mill renewal levy for the police department also will be on the ballot. The fire levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $30 annually, while the police levy would cost the same owner roughly $45. The renewals would bring in a combined total of $452,000 to the township.