By Christine Bryant
As candidates make their last push for the upcoming primary election, Reynoldsburg residents will have other decisions to make as well.
One of the issues that has received the most attention is an income tax hike that would raise the current rate from 1.5 to 2.5 percent. This increase would providing funding for a proposed YMCA facility at the old pool site off Davidson Drive near the Senior Center.
For construction to move forward, however, residents must on May 2 approve the income tax increase, which would affect only individuals who work in Reynoldsburg or generate other income in the city, such as rental properties. The tax increase also affects anyone who lives in Reynoldsburg and works in a community that has a local income tax rate less then 2.5 percent.
If approved, the income tax increase is expected to generate an additional $6.5 million for the city each year, with $1.5 million per year going toward the construction of the building and $5 million per year going toward city services, such as police and parks.
While the city would fund the construction of the building, the YMCA of Central Ohio would incur the costs of maintaining and managing the facility, as well as any repairs that would be necessary over time as the facility ages.
Brian Kridler, chief operating officer for the YMCA of Central Ohio, has said the addition of a facility in Reynoldsburg would bring about 200 full-time and part-time jobs to the city year-round, and about 250 during the summer.
Current plans call for the proposed facility to include a large indoor swimming pool with four swimming lanes, an outdoor swimming pool with six lanes, an outdoor splash zone, an indoor track for walking and running, a fitness center for cardio and muscle conditioning, a full gymnasium, and studios for community classes like yoga, cycling, kickboxing and dance.
Day care for kids while parents are on site also is included in the current plans, as is a learning wing where all ages will learn about becoming a chef, artist, musician or engineer.
Reynoldsburg City Council’s at-large seats will be decided this November, but first, five Democrats and four Republicans are vying for their respective tickets.
Stacie Baker, Kristin Bryant, Kelly Cruse, Cornelius McGrady, III, and John Stearns are competing for three spots on the Democratic ticket.
On the Republican side, incumbents Barth Cotner and Chris Long are running against Aaron DeLong and Charlie Myers for three spots.
The winners from each party will then face off for three at-large seats in November.
Senior Options levy
Voters also will decide whether or not to approve a Senior Options levy.
The five-year levy, first passed in 1992, raises approximately $46 million annually. The current senior levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home $39.70 per year. The new levy, however, would increase this by $15.75 per year for a total annual cost of $55.45.
The current levy expires at the end of 2017 and the new levy, if approved, would run until 2022.
According to information from the Franklin County Office on Aging, if the levy passes, it’s projected 10,000 seniors age 60 and older would receive Senior Options services in home and community-based care, 30,000 seniors would receive services in the community support and outreach area, and more than 25,000 seniors would be assisted by the referral program.
Eastside Editor Rick Palsgrove contributed to this story.
The tax increase also affects anyone who lives in Reynoldsburg and works in a community that has a local income tax rate less then 2.5%. It isn’t just those who work in Reynoldsburg who will be affected. I know you can’t correct the printed paper, which is unfortunate, but hopefully you’ll be able to correct the online version. Thanks.