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Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Mercer County voters approve issues

Library, council on aging levies OK'd by wide margins

By William Kincaid
Mercer County voters overwhelmingly approved all issues and levies on the ballot Tuesday including continued financing for the council on aging and the district library.
Council on aging levy
The council on aging's five-year levy with increased millage passed by 67.09 percent, or 4,825 to 2,172 votes. It replaces a 0.55-mill, five-year renewal levy and adds .15 mills to increase the amount collected annually from about $400,000 to nearly $632,000. The levy is the biggest funding source for the agency.
A resident with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $24.50 per year - up from about $20. Approximately $2.50 of the $4.50 increase is because of the state's removal of a rollback (tax contribution) on all new replacement levies in 2014.
The Celina-based agency for the elderly uses the levy dollars exclusively for services; it will help provide funds through 2019.
Mercer County library levy
The Mercer County District Library's 0.5-mill renewal levy also easily passed with 3,142 or 72.5 percent voting yes.
The five-year levy will collect $276,622 annually. The owner of a $100,000 home will continue to pay approximately $17.50 per year in taxes.
The levy first passed in 2009 and was the first ever sought since the library district became a legal entity in 1907. The levy dollars replaced the 25 percent cut in funding by the state and allowed the libraries in Celina, Maria Stein, St. Henry and Mendon to reinstate hours, manpower and services previously slashed.
"It helped us maintain our efforts before the state cuts," Mercer County District Public Library Director Austin R. Schneider said for a previous story.
He called the renewal "vital" to operations. The library district strives to be more available to the public by gearing programs and equipment to all patrons, Schneider added.
Other levies/issues passed Tuesday
• Fort Recovery's 2.5-mill, five-year storm water renewal levy passed by 74 percent with 213 votes in favor. It will generate approximately $58,450 a year and cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 roughly $76.50 a year.
The levy has been in effect for nearly 20 years and will continue to help finance the mitigation of flooding problems.
• Blackcreek Township's five-year, 1.25-mill fire protection replacement levy passed by 83.5 percent with 107 votes in favor and 17 against.
The levy will generate $25,748 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 valued home $43.75 each year.
• Franklin Township's five-year, 1-mill renewal levy with an increase of 0.1 mills for fire equipment passed with 77 percent of the vote or 392 votes to 111.
• Jefferson Township's five-year,1.5-mill renewal levy for fire protection passed with 76.3 percent or 346 votes to 102. It will collect approximately $112,461 per year.
The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home will be $42.98 annually.
• Southwest Mercer Fire District's five-year, 1.5-mill renewal levy with an increase of 0.4 mills passed by 76 percent with 725 votes to 204.
It will generate approximately $194,827 a year and cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $53.41 annually.
• Voters in Celina precinct C approved two liquor options for Perfect Party Events, 909 E. Wayne, St., Suite 117, which is owned by Make Facilities LLC.
The first option - approved with 67 percent of the total votes - will permit the catering business to sell spiritous liquors in the precinct. The second option - approved by 62 percent - will permit the selling of spiritous liquor on Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight.
• A liquor option for Walmart was approved with 59 percent of the total vote, or 144 votes to 94, and will allow the store to sell wine and mixed beverages on Sundays between 11 a.m. and midnight.
All vote totals are unofficial until approved by the board of elections.
Additional online stories on this date
NEW BREMEN - Voters in the New Bremen Local Schools District once again defeated a combined bond issue and maintenance levy for a proposed building project. [More]
CELINA - All schools in Mercer County will have at least one returning board member for the next four-year term to help tackle tough issues such as Common Core. [More]
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