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Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Levy for disabled likely to be on ballot in May

By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - Mercer County Commissioners this morning approved action to place a tax levy on the ballot in May to support the disabled.
Voters at the May 6 Primary Election will be asked to approve a five-year, 1.94-mill renewal levy for the Mercer County Developmental Disabilities agency. The levy, which expires in December 2014, will continue to collect about $1.2 million annually for general operations of the Cheryl Ann program.
Due to recent state changes, the proposed levy must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the county auditor and assistant prosecuting attorney before given final approval by commissioners. The DD board unanimously approved it several weeks ago.
The proper paperwork must be filed with the county's board of elections office by Feb. 5 to appear on the ballot.
If approved at the polls, the owner of a $100,000 home would continue to pay approximately $59.46 per year, according to county auditor Randy Grapner.
Mike Overman, superintendent of the county's DD program, in May received approval from commissioners to place a 1.94-mill replacement levy on the November 2013 ballot. However, after the state declared it was removing its 12.5 percent rollback (contribution) on all new and replacement levies in 2014, he removed the issue from the ballot.
Overman told the newspaper in July the removal of the state's rollback would cost county taxpayers an additional $120,000 to $130,000 and he didn't want to burden "the people who care about us."
Overman stressed the levy facing voters this spring won't cause taxpayers additional money.
The DD replacement levy was initially passed in 1999 and overwhelmingly approved by voters again in 2004 and 2009.
Additional online story on this date
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Sergeant Mark Ernst, 48, was appointed the new chief Monday [More]
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