Parks levies pass soundly; gas and electric aggregation approved

LIMA — Voters in Allen County endorsed keeping their parks system funded well during Tuesday’s special election.

A pair of renewal levies for the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District passed, with 77% of voters saying yes, according to unofficial results from the Allen County Board of Elections.

Voters in Allen County also approved a levy for the Spencerville Police Department, electric aggregation for the city of Lima, gas aggregation for the village of Bluffton, a liquor measure for a Bluffton business and another for a Sugar Creek establishment.

“We’re very thankful to the community for their support,” said Tyler Black, executive director of the JAMPD. “It just goes to show the importance of parks not only in Allen County but across the state, and we’re looking forward to building on the trust that the citizens have put in us. We’re ready to hit the ground running with some other projects that we’ve had waiting.”

The two levies are both an eight-year and 10-year renewal, meaning that no new taxes or millage will be added. They will also be set at a rate of 0.75 mills. The park district expects to use the money toward maintaining the park’s cleanliness, safety and progress to areas in need of updates.

The village of Spencerville approved a levy to add a rate of 1.5 mills to be used on staffing the police department, with 82% endorsing it. Because the levy had previously been active and then redirected toward the village general fund in 2017, it will mean that it is essentially a renewal to redirect that money back to the police.

In a story from Sunday, Spencerville Police Chief Kyle Miller said the money will be spent on staffing to cover the cost of keeping full-time employees.

In Bluffton and Lima, both municipalities will now aggregate gas and electricity, respectively, except for residents who choose to opt out. Lima’s electric aggregation measure passed with 68% in favor. Bluffton’s gas aggregation measure passed with 87% saying yes.

In Sunday’s story, Lima Mayor Sharetta Smith said that residents and businesses would be able to purchase electricity at a lower rate and save money on electric bills with the passage of the measure.

Bluffton voters also approved a measure to allow Luke’s Bar and Grill, 133 N. Main St., to serve alcoholic drinks on Sundays, with 81% of voters OKing the issue.

Sugar Creek Township voters approved a measure to allow Uncle Al’s Pizza at 4305 W. Lincoln Highway in Gomer to serve alcohol on Sundays, as well, with 78% of voters endorsing it.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.