By Linda Dillman
The Madison Township trustees are finding it difficult to maintain and improve roadways without an infusion of additional cash into the road department budget.
According to Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst, the township ran a 3-mill, five-year road levy in 2002 that lost in all township precincts except one. They came back three years later with a 2.9-mill levy, which lost by only nine votes.
“So, every vote does count,” Brobst said during a June 11 trustees’ meeting.
Township Trustee Chairman John Pritchard presented four different options the trustees are considering, including running a general fund levy impacting all township residents, including those in Canal Winchester and Groveport; place a bridge fund levy on the ballot affecting only residents in the unincorporated areas of the township; doing nothing; or administratively raise taxes through inside millage.
The last option would not involve a ballot issue since the township has the ability to increase millage up to a certain threshold. In this case, there is less than half a mill available.
Pritchard said if the trustees choose the fourth option of raising inside millage, there are two methods they could use—raise it by itself or use part of a potential $10 million fire department budget carryover by rescinding old levies.
“We’re investigating to see if it’s smart to do that for the entire township,” said Pritchard, who said rescinding old levies would in no way impact service. “The bottom line is something’s got to be done. We’ll look at everything and come to a conclusion.”
In May, Public Works Superintendent Dave Watkins said it costs approximately $150,000 per mile to renovate a road, which is money the township does not have in its budget for areas like Blacklick Estates or rural areas.
Township officials indicated that the longer the wait, the more work and more expensive the situation becomes. If nothing is done, Watkins said the roadways could turn to gravel.
Summer trustee meeting schedule
The trustees are starting their summer round of two meetings per month starting June 25 and possibly lasting into September.
“We’ll have two meetings a month on an as-needed basis,” said Brobst. “There won’t be any presentations or service awards during the second meeting of the month, but there could board action and we’ll still have public comments.”