Allen County levy renewals on ballot

By Mackenzi Klemann -

ALLEN COUNTY — Voters around Allen County will be asked to renew several levies affecting local schools and emergency services when they go to the polls on May 7.

Allen East

The school is asking for a continuous renewal of its general permanent improvement fund levy, set at 2.75 mills. If approved, voters would no longer be asked to renew the levy every five years.

“We’ve had it successfully voted by our Allen East residents for six separate levies,” said Andrea Snyder, treasurer for Allen East schools. “We don’t want our voters to experience voter fatigue.”

Snyder said the levy helps the district purchase new school buses, resurface parking lots, upgrade sidewalks and install LED lighting, among other things. The levy was first approved by voters in 1989.

Delphos schools

Voters in the Delphos schools district will be asked to renew two separate levies supporting the district.

The first is a 5.5 mills levy that would generate $907,535 for current operating expenses, like textbooks, school supplies, salaries and benefits. The second is 2.25 mills, which would generate $287,902 for the permanent improvement fund for equipment and property improvement expenses, according to Delphos schools treasurer Brad Rostorfer. Both levies would be good for five years, if renewed.

“One of the things that we realize when schools do put levies on the ballot is they’re trying to make the best decisions for the students,” said Faith Cummings, interim superintendent. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t go to the voters. It’s all about the kids.”

Bluffton schools

Bluffton schools are seeking a levy renewal and income tax renewal this spring.

The 0.5% income tax supports major expenditures like bus replacement, roof maintenance and other infrastructure upgrades or long-term improvements. If approved, the income tax is good for three years.

The income tax was first approved by voters in 2007 and generates about $700,000 annually in revenue, according to Bluffton schools Superintendent Greg Denecker.

The second Bluffton schools ballot measure is a levy renewal for 4.244 mills. Denecker said the levy first took effect in 1999 and will draw $714,392 annually for five years, if approved. Those funds are used for general fund expenses like salaries, benefits and other needs.

“We try to be frugal with our taxpayer dollars and yet give our students a good education,” Denecker said.

Bath Township EMS

Residents of Bath Township will be asked to renew a levy of 3 mills to support the township’s fire and emergency services department for another five years.

Bath Township Fire Chief Joseph Kitchen said the levy, which was first approved in 2004, supports about 80% of the department’s budget.

“Although this levy does not bring in as much money today as when it was originally passed, we have done our best to continue to live within our means and are confident that we can continue to provide the highest level of fire/EMS service with (this),” Kitchen said. He noted that the levy brings in about $900,000 annually.

The Bath Township Fire Department serves 36 square miles, including seven miles of I-75. Kitchen said the department typically responds to more than 1,600 calls for service a year.

By Mackenzi Klemann

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