By Dustin Ensinger
While Reynoldsburg City Council members prepare for another attempt at the ballot to increase the city’s revenue stream, one resident asked council to give voters a choice.
Kurt Keljo, a supporter of an income tax increase, asked council to give voters the option of an income tax increase or a reduction in the city’s income tax credit.
An increase in the city’s income tax would largely affect non-city residents. About 80 percent of Reynoldsburg residents work outside the city limits, according to Auditor Richard Harris.
The finance committee has asked the administration to draft two different pieces of legislation to place a 0.5 percent income tax increase on the ballot.
One measure would simply raise the city’s income tax. The other would spell out how those increased revenues would be spent.
If voters approve the measure, it is expected to generate about $3 million annually.
City residents defeated the previous four attempts to increase the income tax. However, each of those ballot measures called for a 1 percent increase.
Voters have not approved a tax increase in the city since 1981.
Council approved the purchase of a Duraco Durapatcher to fill potholes on city streets.
The $56,808 piece of equipment is the city’s most effective option to quickly repair streets at a low cost, according to Director of Public Service Nathan Burd.
According to Burd, the life expectancy on a patch is three to five years, far exceeding that of either a hot or cold patch.
Council approved allowing alcohol sales at the Tomato Festival by a 5-1 vote.
Councilman Cornelius McGrady voted against the measure, saying “it gives a false presence of acceptance.”
Prior to the vote, Councilman Mel Clemens joked he attends the annual event “for the beer.”
The Tomato Festival will be held from Aug. 15-16 at Huber Park.
Council heard the first reading on a measure to amend the city’s phases for sidewalk improvement program.
Based on an existing ordinance, the next phase of the sidewalk improvement program would include a large swath of the city, including the entirety of the portion within Licking County.
“We need to make that phase more manageable and feasible,” Burd said.
Without a change to the ordinance, the project is set to cost more than $2 million.
“There’s no way we could afford to do that,” Councilman Chris Long said.
If the change is approved, the project would cost $600,000.