Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
By Shelley Grieshop
St. Henry voters drown income tax levy
  ST. HENRY - Village officials this morning axed the idea for a new swimming pool and will look elsewhere for needed operating funds after voters nixed a permanent 1/2 percent income tax increase.
"We're obviously disappointed," village administrator Ron Gelhaus said this morning. "We were trying to be proactive ... We'll continue to do the best we can."
Gelhaus said residents were told during the levy campaign that if it failed, the town would "not build a swimming pool anytime soon."
"We can't do it with the funds we have," he said.
The tax went down 778 votes (54.48 percent) to 650 votes (45.52 percent). Figures show 82.1 percent of the town's registered voters weighed in on the issue.
Gelhaus and St. Henry Mayor Jeff Mescher thanked those who supported the levy and the committee who worked hard to educate residents.
Mescher said the village's finance committee and council will "look to the future to make the improvements that are needed and find the means to fund these projects."
The proposed income tax would have raised the town's current rate to 1 1/2 percent. A resident with an annual income of $50,000 would have paid an additional $250 per year.
The new tax would have generated about $480,000 annually the first five years to replace the town's 40-year-old swimming pool with one costing $1.5 to $1.9 million. Beginning the sixth year, the levy would have collected $356,000 each year to fund operating expenses and special projects.
Ongoing reductions in local government funding and other revenues is expected to drain village funds by up to $115,000 annually, council members have said.
Officials also said that if the aging pool needs major renovations in the future and funds aren't available, it may close.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• All township fire protection levies pass
• Local Republicans win re-election
• Former police officer charged
• Incumbent congressmen keep seats
• Mendon levy undeclared, Fort passes two
• Celina business snags grandstand fix contract
• Auglaize County officials courting auto, food processing businesses
• Minster projects to slow down, official says
• Coldwater students' D.C. trip rescheduled
• Old structures on First Street slated for demolition
• Dollar General likely in Rockford
• Changes likely for Lake Festival
• Flyers excited to be playing against Bucks
a_d
Friday
83°
Chance Thunderstorms
36%
Friday Night
68°
Chance Thunderstorms
47%
Saturday
79°
Thunderstorms Likely
66%
Saturday Night
54°
Thunderstorms Likely
69%
Sunday
63°
Chance Thunderstorms
40%
Sunday Night
51°
Mostly Cloudy
14%
Monday
71°
Partly Sunny
9%
Monday Night
56°
Partly Cloudy
9%
Tuesday
78°
Partly Sunny
10%
Tuesday Night
62°
Partly Cloudy
8%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d