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Friday, August 31st, 2007

Money issues to crowd Mercer County ballot

By Timothy Cox
Mercer County voters will decide the fate of a dozen issues that will appear on the Nov. 6 election ballot.
  Only two countywide issues will appear on the ballot, including a countywide sales tax initiative offered by county commissioners to build a new $12 million jail. The other countywide issue is a replacement levy for Tri County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, which will also appear on ballots in Van Wert and Paulding counties.
Most of the other issues are village- or township-sponsored tax levies.
The county sales tax would be a 0.5 percent sales tax charged on all non-food items to raise money for a new detention center. The jail would be built on county-owned land west of Celina near the Mercer County Home. The 100-bed facility would replace the existing 15-bed jail.
Tri County seeks replacement of its 1-mill property tax levy with a 10-year, 1-mill levy to help fund its operations. The levy must be approved by a majority of the total voters in the three counties for passage.
The issues automatically make it onto ballots without approval of the elections board. That is because the levies are offered by legal taxing authorities that are allowed to seek tax levies from their constituents, elections Deputy Director Denise Fullenkamp said.
Other issues to be determined by voters across the county include:
• A pair of property tax levies in Fort Recovery, both replacements of existing levies. A five-year, 2.5-mill levy would fund street improvements and a five-year, 2.3-mill levy would help pay for current operations.
• Marion Township seeks an additional five-year, 2.4-mill property tax levy to pay for fire protection services.
• Dublin Township seeks a five-year, 1-mill renewal levy to pay for current expenses.
• Hopewell Township seeks a five-year, 1.7-mill renewal levy to pay for fire protection.
• Liberty Township seeks a five-year, 1-mill renewal levy to pay for fire protection.
• Center Township seeks a five-year, 1.65-mill renewal levy to pay for fire protection.
• The village of Mendon seeks a five-year, 2.5-mill replacement levy to help pay for general operations.
• The Galleria in Celina seeks a local liquor option to allow Sunday sales. Only voters in Celina A102 precinct will vote on that issue.
• Wal-Mart Supercenter seeks a local liquor option to allow Sunday sales. Only voters in Celina C precinct will vote on that issue.
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