Liberty trustees ponder November road levy
By Sarah Lehr
Township trustees are weighing whether to ask voters to approve a new road levy in November.
Gino Bidinotto, senior foreman, told trustees this week the road department lacks the funds necessary to maintain the township’s roads in the long-term.
Township voters passed a new five-year, 1.25-mill levy in 2014, after rejecting higher-millage versions of the tax during previous elections. That tax generates roughly $226,320 annually and costs the owner of a $100 home about $35 each year.
There are 60 miles of roads in the township and it costs approximately $100,000 to pave one mile. The township supplements levy revenue with street-resurfacing grants from the state.
Fiscal officer Steve Shelton said trustees should “strongly consider” going to voters for an additional roads tax. Shelton suggested a 1-mill levy.
Trustees said Monday they are open the idea. There is an August deadline to place tax measures on this November’s ballot.
“The most calls that I get are complaints on roads,” Trustee Stanley Nudell said.
In other business, trustees agreed to three lease payments totaling $33,029 for the fire chief’s Ford SUV and three lease payments totaling $39,246 for a Ford police cruiser. Trustee Jason Rubin voted against payment for the police cruiser, citing concern about the fiscal health of the police fund. That fund has a positive balance of $191,450, Shelton said Monday. The fiscal officer believes the police fund will go into the red this summer after expenditures for payroll and equipment.
The township is in state-designated fiscal caution.
In response to Rubin’s concerns, Nudell said the vehicle payments are a necessity.
“To provide services to the township, we do need to have safety vehicles,” Nudell said.