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Liberty Schools, township will have levies on ballot

Published: Wed, April 9, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.


By jeanne starmack



Township trustees are asking for a new levy to repave township roads, and the school district is asking for voters to renew two levies.

The township tried in November to pass the 1.25-mill, 5-year tax for roads, but voters defeated it by about 250 votes.

This time, the township has the backing of residents who’ve organized to campaign for the levy.

It would generate $226,320 a year and would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $35 a year.

Trustees have said that the loss of inheritance-tax and other state funding have caused a financial hardship even though the township has cut personnel and eliminated its dispatch center.

Township administrator Pat Ungaro said he could use revenue from the levy to attract state grants for road repaving.

The state looks favorably on grant applications that include a “match” — a contribution of local funds, Ungaro said.

Ungaro said that complaints from people living on some of the worst roads, such as Mansell Drive and the Tibbetts-Wick Road extension, prompted the trustees to put the levy on the ballot again in May.

One Tibbetts-Wick resident wrote in a letter to trustees: “Until the road can be repaired the proper way, it should be closed.”

The township has been patching potholes, but the patches are only temporary fixes.

The school board approved placing the two school district levies on the May ballot at its meeting in January.

One is a 3.65-mill general operations levy and the other is a 0.9-mill capital improvements levy.

The operations levy costs a taxpayer with a $100,000 house $127.75 a year, and the capital improvements levy costs $31.50 a year, district treasurer Lori Simione has said.

The board has been asked to consider a new levy by a state commission that is overseeing the district while it is in fiscal emergency.

But the board has not made a decision on whether to ask voters for one, and one will not appear on the May ballot.

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