Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily



10-08-03: Mercer County voters to decide

Coldwater officials propose amendments

Coldwater officials are asking village residents to approve four amendments to the village’s charter at the Nov. 3 election.
The community voted to become a charter village in 2000, which sets up specific guidelines for how the village government operates. On the ballot will be a request to change the sections in the charter on the planning commission, board of zoning appeals, removal from office and contracts and purchasing.
Changes in the five-member planning commission and board of zoning appeals would include the village council selecting one council member to serve on the planning commission, instead of the mayor appointing someone to that seat, and prohibiting zoning board members from serving on the planning commission.
“Basically, we want to have a distribution of powers for each board or commission. We want the mayor to have representation and a council member on each, along with three village residents,” explained Village Manager-Engineer Eric Thomas. “That way there are executive, legislative and representatives from the people on each board.”
The proposed change to the removal from office section states that three-fourths of the council must approve a removal, up from the current two-thirds.
“This is just to help us stay consistent with the Ohio Revised Code. It makes it tougher to remove someone,” Thomas said.
The amendments to the contracts and purchasing section of the charter simply deals with a minor wording change. The bid threshold of $15,000 will not change.
Each of the proposed changes will be voted on separately.
A five-member charter review commission meets annually to look over the charter and take recommended changes to council. If there are any changes to the charter, council must put those changes on the ballot at the next general election.
Serving on the commission are Coldwater Mayor Vern Stammen and residents Joe Maruna, Judy Koesters, Maurice Cron and Tony Schwendeman.

Township voters will decide on fire levies

Jefferson Township residents outside the city of Celina will be asked to approve a 1.6-mill property tax levy on the Nov. 4 ballot to keep intact the township’s agreement with the city for fire protection and ambulance services.
The five-year levy would raise about $98,000 annually. The township now pays about $57,000 annually for fire and ambulance services.
Fire levies also will appear on the ballot in Franklin Township and the Southwest Mercer Fire District that includes Fort Recovery.
Jefferson Township officials were forced to seek an increased amount after Celina city officials determined the city was losing money through the existing deal. After more than a year of negotiations, the city and township came to contract terms that nearly doubles the township’s annual cost. Approval of the levy is necessary for the township to meet the financial terms of the five-year deal.
The Celina Fire Department responds to fire calls in Jefferson, Hopewell and Center townships in addition to the city. Outside-the-city runs account for nearly 40 percent of all runs the department makes, officials say. Runs to Jefferson Township alone account for 27 percent of all runs.
If the levy fails, the contract is void and the parties would presumably have to return to the bargaining table to hammer out an arrangement for next year.
Only Jefferson Township voters outside the city limits will vote on the fire levy. City residents also would not be subject to the property tax if the levy passes, even though they live in Jefferson Township.
Township trustees had considered the possibility of creating their own fire department but ultimately decided it would be cheaper to stick with Celina. Township Clerk Grant Cook said those discussions would probably only be reopened if the levy fails.
Cook said township voters have been supportive of fire issues in the past and said he believes they will understand the necessity of this levy attempt. Despite the increase costs, the rise in millage to the property owners is nominal, he said. The last fire levy collected at 1.38 mills while the new attempt is 1.6 mills.
Franklin Township voters will find a 1-mill, five-year property tax levy on their ballots. The $52,537 the levy would raise annually is to be used to purchase new equipment.
In Southwest Mercer County, voters will decide the fate of a 1-mill, five-year fire protection levy that would provide money for continuing operations. That levy would raise about $40,000 annually. The Southwest Mercer department serves Fort Recovery and rural Washington, Recovery and Gibson townships.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822