Staunton Twp. residents to consider two issues

STAUNTON TWP. — Staunton Township residents will have two levies to consider on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The first levy, Issue 14, is a five-year, 1-mill levy for local fire and EMS contract for services to Staunton Township. The current levy is set to expire at the end of the year. According to township officials, “due to wording in the original levy resolution which did not call out ‘unincorporated and incorporated territory of Staunton Township,’ the resolution had to be rewritten. Because of this new resolution wording, per Ohio Revised Code, it could no longer be considered a renewal.”

If approved by voters, the cost of the levy for a property owner would be approximately $35 per $100,000 valuation.

The second levy, Issue 15, is a new five-year, 2-mill operating levy for current and future operating expenses. According to township officials, the levy proceeds would offset cuts in the state’s local government fund and money lost through elimination of the Ohio inheritance tax.

According to township trustees, “The board of trustees spent several months discussing alternatives to this levy and do not take lightly the financial impact on our township residents. The board of trustees works diligently to identify best pricing and investigate all options, including collaborating with other entities in an effort to minimize the spending of taxpayer money and to save money to carryover into future years.

“This practice has been integral since the state made cuts to the Local Government Fund as well as when the Estate Tax went away. As we all know with our own personal budgets, prices for materials and services continue to rise and expenditures are exceeding revenues.”

The current estimate to pave a one-mile stretch of road is $90,000 and to chip and seal a mile of road is approximately $40,000.

“The trustees have worked to protect the township’s financial standing by lowering township expenses through scaling back contracted services and selling equipment that is non-essential.

“Most recently, our 17-year-old snow plow was needing constant work to the point that the estimated cost of repairs was greater than the truck’s value. The trustees were able to purchase a used snow plow in excellent condition from another township which saved Staunton township approximately $60,000 compared to the state bid pricing on a new truck,” officials said. “To offset the cost to the township even further, they sold the old plow as well as a 2015 truck which they determined was not necessary for day to day operations of the township.”

Staunton Township trustees Jeff Cron, Bill Gearhart and Levi Long, provided the following statement in regard to the ballot issues:

“The Staunton township board of trustees is committed to continuing to work hard to keep the township operating within its means just as our residents do with their own finances. The goal of these levies is to continue providing the township with the safe, quality environment our residents expect and deserve. We respectfully ask that you vote for Issue 14 and Issue 15 on November 6th.”