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Trustees approve replacement levy

August 1, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Austintown Township trustees agreed to proceed with placing a 3.2 mill levy on the November ballot. The levy will be a replacement of the 2.4 mill existing levy with an increase of 0.8 mills.

Trustee Ken Carano said he is still getting questions about why the increase is needed.

"Since 2010 our budget has been reduced by six million dollars," Carano said. "That is because the governor wanted a rainy day fund."

He said the state was keeping more and more money each year to build the fund, while not returning the money back to Ohio townships. While less and less was coming back to the township, the cost of doing business rose. Carano said just paving a mile of road has increased by astronomical rates, making road paving programs smaller and smaller.

Carano said in Austintown, the goal with the replacement levy is to keep the services, specifically the police services that presently exist. Should the levy fail, it would threaten a lot of township services.

"This levy will cost $55 to $59 per year," he said. "This will maintain the services we have."

He said it will start collecting in 2019, which means tightening the belt for a short time.

"If it fails, things will be lost or drastically reduced," Carano said. "We lost by 14 votes the last time (in May) and I am willing to bet a lot of voters didn't understand the situation."

Carano also suggested taxpayers write to the governor candidates, asking them to release the rainy day funds back to the townships.

"It was a rainy day fund, but there is lightning and thunder, so release the funds," Carano said.

On a different matter, Trustee Jim Davis reported on his experience of jumping out of an airplane. Davis was actually challenged by Austintown Senior Center member Eric Newton close to two years ago. Last year, Newton wanted to go sky diving with Davis, but had a temporary set back when he developed a cramp. Newton, 75, retook the physical this year and was approved and set up the event with Davis.

A slide show and movie was presented at the meeting showing both Davis and Newton and their tandem jumps from 10,000 feet.

Davis said it was a great experience and now that he has met the challenge, the new one is his.

"As a police officer, a 100 mile-per-hour pursuit really gets the adrenaline flowing," Davis said. "So my challenge is for any senior from the Austintown Senior Center, to travel to a NASCAR Driving Challenge track and drive a car at 160 miles-per-hour."

He said the challenge would be for next year some time.

Another question that came up was the filling of the secretary's position at the Austintown Senior Center. Senior Center Director Jim Henshaw said filling the position is being handled through Vantage Workforce Solutions, who will help seniors interested to learn the skills needed to fill the position. Henshaw said the Federal Government pays for the employee.

"It would be no charge to us," he said.

Any senior who is interested can apply at Vantage Workforce Solutions in Boardman.

In other business:

Trustees approved 23 nuisance properties and three nuisance vehicles so letters can be sent and the situations cleaned up.

A public hearing was set for 7 p.m. on Aug. 13 for a proposed new medical building.

Trustees heard from a resident in the Fitch Boulevard area who was complaining about an increase in the raccoon population that is causing a lot of damage.



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