Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Truro Township considers placing levy on May ballot

By Tara Figurski

Staff Writer

Truro Township voters could face a general fund levy on May 6.

In November residents defeated a .75 mill levy that would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $23 a year in additional taxes. Township officials previously stated that levy was needed to balance the general fund budget.

On Jan. 2, the Truro Township trustees approved a resolution to obtain a certificate of property tax revenue from the Franklin County auditor stating how much revenue would be generated by a specific levy.

“This is just the first of two resolutions that you have to process,” said Truro Township Administrator Jason Nicodemus. “The second step is a resolution of a notice to proceed.”

The resolutions would then be forwarded to the Franklin County Board of Elections if a decision is made to place a levy request on the ballot, according to Nicodemus.

“The amount we are asking the auditor to give us a certificate on is the same amount (.75 mill),” he said. “The deadline to be on the May ballot is Feb. 5.”

Trustee Pat Mahaffey said he voted for the resolution to gather information about the levy.

“I voted against doing that last time,” Mahaffey said. “(The levy) has been turned down. I am not sure I want to make that attempt, but we are looking into it.”

Mahaffey said he was open to making additional cuts to balance the general fund, even though it would mean cutting services for township residents.

Trustee Mike Shirey said he voted for the resolution because he needs more information.

“I want to find out where we are financially and what we are getting,” Shirey said. “Cuts will still need to be made.”

Trustee Barb Strussion said, while she dislikes asking for additional money, sometimes one has to do what is best for the township.

“In my 16 years as a trustee we have never solicited a levy for operations for the general fund,” Strussion said. “We have for fire and even tried a cemetery and roads (levy). We are just in dire straits at this point. I want to see this go forward. At this point I think it is a necessity.”

If the trustees decide to place the levy on the ballot, Nicodemus said more information would be supplied to the voters about why the levy is necessary.

“We just want to educate and let (voters) know the importance of the levy if it does go forward,” Nicodemus said.

Nicodemus said small cuts were made throughout 2013 and all expenses have been heavily scrutinized.

“Some supplies have been cut, equipment replacement has been cut,” Nicodemus said. “We are very limited for training possibilities.”

Expenditures for 2013 were less than expenditures for the previous two years because of the cuts that were made, according to Nicodemus.

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