LIMA — The vote deciding whether the county receives $35 million over 10 years from taxpayers to address capital improvement needs arrives in less than two months, and Allen County Commissioners have begun an increased effort to get the right information regarding their sales tax levy out to the public.
In the last few months, commissioners have held 16 presentations with a number of service groups and with the public to explain the details of their sales tax increase levy. Commissioners have another half dozen presentations planned.
Although many individuals give positive feedback about the plan, commissioners have heard some rumors that don’t ring true, Allen County Commissioner Greg Sneary said.
“People are looking for a reason to say ‘no,’ and we’re trying to give them a reason to say ‘yes,’” Allen County Commissioner Jay Begg said.
Wednesday night, commissioners presented the sales tax plan to a crowd of roughly 50 individuals at the Allen County Fairgrounds. A number of county officials were also in the audience.
Members of the public asked about pitched roofs, a property used by the Ohio Department of Transportation, inflation concerns and how other county buildings may be used.
Recently, commissioners have also created a campaign committee, Securing Allen County’s Future, consisting of Jeff Tracy, Tim Stanford, Tracie Sanchez and Jack Somerville, to provide potential mailers or other materials to better communicate the aspects of the plan with Allen County residents voting on the issue.
The committee is seeking donations from local businesses to finance the campaign on the tail end of poll results that indicates the county is “slightly behind in securing the votes necessary for passage.” A letter requesting donations, however, says that a “focused campaign informing voters” can round up enough votes.
The May 8 levy asks for a 0.2 percent sales tax increase to bring in $35 million over the next decade to be utilized only for capital improvements. The primary projects named in the plan is construction of a new Juvenile Detention Center, new county administrative offices and a new Allen County Engineer’s Facility as well as renovation of the Allen County Courthouse. Any leftover dollars would be spent on other capital improvement projects, such as facility repairs and road repairs.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.