Coming up to election day, there are no less than 18 local issues and levies up for a vote, from townships to villages to school districts.
Here’s a closer look at this November’s issues and levies, with comments from public officials:
Jefferson Twp. – Unincorporated Area – Renewal – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 2 Mills – 5 years
Jefferson Twp. – Incorporated & Unincorporated Areas – Additional – Maintaining & Operating Cemeteries – 1 Mill – 5 years
Gary Pickerill, Jefferson Township Trustee:
“The fire levy is a renewal and it’s put on the ballot to cover the expenses for the contract with Russellville, which was put on ten years ago. We haven’t changed the millage on it. It’s just to cover our contract for protection. We feel like we need it to cover that expense because our general fund is pretty low.
It will generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 22,000. That does cover our contract for Fire and EMS. Our contract is 20,000 to the village and then as needed they will come to us and ask for a little bit for something extra, or set aside to help if they need a lump sum of 3,000-4,000 we can vote on that and extend some of that money.
The cemetery levy, it’s been a .7 mill, and I know in the 1970s it was .7 but in 2015 it was .7. We are asking the voters for an additional .3 mills to cover perpetual care, mowing, grave digging, things like that. Also looking to the future, our space is getting limited and we’re going to have to purchase ground to expand sooner or later. We’re asking for a little extra to set aside money for that.
“We’re hoping the voters will support us and will continue supporting us.”
Lewis Twp. – Unincorporated Area – Renewal – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 1 Mill – 5 years
Robert Starrett, Lewis Township Trustee:
“For the continued service that we’ve been providing they need to vote yes, because we do have fire and EMS service for both ends and we share Lewis with Hamersville. With the cost of equipment and supplies today, it’s starting to get unreal. It’s what we need to do to maintain the level of service that we do have. Without it, it hurts. You couldn’t provide some of the services you have right now. It’s very important that we pass this levy.”
Perry Twp. – Incorporated & Unincorporated Areas – Renewal – Ambulance/EMS – 2 Mills – 3 years
Perry Twp. – Incorporated & Unincorporated Areas – Renewal – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 1 Mill – 3
Judy Iles, Perry Township Fiscal Officer
“The one mill levy is for the fire department, and the two mill levy is for the EMS. The EMS levy should generate around $144,000 per year.
“It’s very vital. Everybody depends on the EMS now, it’s been in place for quite a few years and it’s very beneficial. They do ambulance runs and it doesn’t cost a person to take the ambulance, and of course the fire levy they depend on that as they’re the largest township in the county. Most of them are volunteer firemen and EMS workers.”
Georgetown Exempted Village School District – Renewal – General Perm. Improvements – 1.5 Mills – 5 years
Georgetown Superintendent Chris Burrows
“It’s a permanent improvement levy. It just means that we can spend our money on things that are going to permanently improve our facilities. The way that I really like to explain it is what you or I would do in our own homes for improvement. Anything that we can do there, that’s what permanent improvement money is for.
“We’ve tried to spend that permanent improvement money (in the past) on things that will reduce our general fund expenditures,” Burrows said. “For example, LED (light emitting diodes) lighting is an expenditure our of permanent improvement funds, but then our general fund expenditures go down because of energy savings. It’s like what you’d do in your own home, just a good business move.
“We’ve invested heavily in technology. Every student in our district, from fifth grade to 12th grade, has an iPad, and we’re going to continue to do that as we roll things out. Curriculum is important as well. Textbooks are something that we’ve put on the back burner for 15 years waiting on technology to take over, so permanent improvement money can be spent on curriculum resources.
“So as we go forward, that’s where some of our money’s going to be spent. We’re still going to look at energy efficient ways that we can spend our of permanent improvement to reduce general fund expenditures. And then the technology infrastructure, I think sometimes people see the user and the device someone has in their hand, but the infrastructure behind the scenes is very expensive. From servers, to the wifi system, to the routers, it’s extremely expensive. That infrastructure is fairly new and what I say is on the bleeding edge.”
Fayetteville Village – Current Operating Expenses – Renewal – 2.1 Mills – 5 years
Fayetteville Village – Current Operating Expenses – Renewal – 3 Mills – 5 years
Bob Campbell, Fayetteville interim Mayor
“The levies are for the operating expenses for the village. It goes into the general fund. Then it’s divided out to street department and stuff like that.
“Because we’re running on a tight budget, we don’t have lot of money and it’s necessary to keep the village operating. It would put extreme hardship if it didn’t pass. We’re low on funds as it is. It would put a lot more strain on our budget.”
Georgetown Village – Renewal – Fire Protection – 2.4 Mills – 5 years
Georgetown Fire and EMS Chief Joe Rockey:
“It’s essentially, besides the three townships Pleasant, Scott, and Franklin, the money that we generate in this levy is what we operate on. Without that, we have no money. We have a small reserve, but it wouldn’t last long. Out of our entire budget, the townships make up a very small percentage of the money we operate on.
“The money goes towards maintaining the equipment we have, and every year we do preventative maintenance and there’s testing involved. Every air pack has to be tested, every mask has to be tested, the ladders have to be tested, trucks have to be tested, pumps have to be tested on every piece of apparatus, so it gets very expensive. Plus, buying any new equipment, replacing outdated or no longer operable equipment, and replacing the trucks as needed.
“Without the levy, we’d come on hard times. To keep the fire department where it’s at, and to keep progressing, the levy needs to pass.
Village of Mt. Orab – Additional – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 2 Mills – Continuing Period of Time
Mt. Orab Mayor Bruce Lunsford:
“We’re having staffing issues, we need to replace life squads, and we need additional people. We were kind of being overwhelmed with life squad runs, especially with the aging population. A lot more people in the area are over the age of 50, and it just creates a lot more life squad runs.
“Until you decide to do something different, you don’t have to worry about getting it re-done. it can be taken off or voted off at any time, it’s not a permanent thing that can never be changed.
“It will raise about $100,000 per year.”
Village of Russellville – Renewal – Current Expenses – 3.3 Mills – 5 years
Village of Russellville – Renewal – Current Expenses – 4.5 Mills – 5 years
“These levies are used for vari
ous things. They could be used for police protection, the fire department, and/or EMS. If it’s used for general fund, it can be used for anything, like a street repair that needs to be done or to fix a broken traffic light.
“When you look at police levy or fire levy, we cannot pay salaries out of those. Police, Fire and EMS salaries are coming out of the general fund. It’s important for these levies to get passed for the village, because we can do various things for many people of this village. The levies are expected to bring in $15,000-20,000 per year.”
Huntington Twp. Incorporated & Unincorporated Areas –Renewal – Fire Protection – 1.2 Mills – 5 years
Higginsport Village – Additional – Current Expenses – 5 Mills – 5 years
Hamersville Village – Renewal – Police Protection 2 Mills – 5 years
Pike Twp. – Unincorporated Area – Additional – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 1 Mill – 5 years.
Pleasant Twp. – Unincorporated Area – Replacement & Increase – Fire – 1.5 Mills with an increase of 0.5 Mills = 2 Mills – Continuing Period of Time
Sterling Twp. – Unincorporated Area – Replacement – Fire/Ambulance/EMS – 3 Mills – Continuing Period of Time