By Kristin Bednarski
Several townships and villages in Clermont County were successful at passing levies Nov. 6, while others were not.
Levies on the ballot in the county ranged from operational levies to police, fire and EMS levies.
Village of Bethel
The village of Bethel was unsuccessful at passing its 1 mill parks and recreation levy.
The levy failed with 57.52 percent, or 528 voters against the levy and 42.48 percent, or 390 voters in favor of the levy.
Prior to the election, village fiscal officer Bill Gilpin said the levy would be used for a variety of maintenance needs, including building repairs, sidewalk maintenance, lawn care and more at Burke Park and Grant Memorial.
Gilpin said the levy would have brought in approximately $30,410 for the village. He said that in the absence of a levy, the expenditures have to come from the general fund.
“And that keeps shrinking,” Gilpin said prior to the election.
Village of Felicity
The village of Felicity was able to pass a 3.5 mill renewal tax levy this year for operational expenses.
The levy passed with 53.8 percent, or 92 voters in favor of the levy and 46.2 percent, or 79 voters opposed to the levy.
“The village of Felicity is grateful for voter support of the renewal levy for their village,” Mayor Randy Myers said. “The village understands that times are difficult for everyone and the support of the levy, as always, is very much appreciated.”
Myers said renewing the levy was necessary due to recent cuts in local government funding.
Prior to the election, village fiscal officer Heather McIntyre said the levy will help fund current operating expenses, which include police salaries, street lights, maintenance of parks, building and properties, as well as other general operating expenses.
McIntyre said the levy is estimated to generate $9,716 per year for the village.
Goshen Township was unsuccessful at passing a safety services tax levy Nov. 6.
The levy failed with 52.97 percent, or 3,298 voters opposed to the levy and 47.03 percent, or 2,928 voters in favor of the levy.
“It’s discouraging,” Goshen Township Fire Chief Stephen Pegram said about the levy failing. “There hasn’t been a tax increase in Goshen by Goshen for 10 years. It’s unfortunate we can’t convince the people that to take care of Goshen we need money.”
Pegram said this was the township’s third attempt to pass a levy since 2002.
He said the levy was expected to generate approximately $750,000, which would have been used to maintain police, fire and EMS services in the township.
Without additional funds, Pegram said the village cannot continue operating they way they have been.
“Unfortunately, the crisis we are in doesn’t go away,” Pegram said. “We will have to immediately correct that.”
Pegram said that means they will have to work with trustees to make reductions in police, fire and EMS services.
“Absolutely there is going to be some impact,” Pegram said. “No matter what we do, we know it’s going to affect people.”
Pegram said reductions in service could mean that residents will be waiting longer for an ambulance or police officer to arrive at their homes. He said that will also mean less back-up support for police and fire officials, making their jobs more dangerous.
“I don’t know if people think about and realize that if you cut the services the calls don’t stop,” Pegram said. “We still have to answer those calls whether we have one officer or three. That’s where the community is hurt.”
Jackson Township was able to replace a 2 mill fire and EMS levy Nov. 6.
The levy passed with 64.04 percent, or 894 voters in favor of the levy and 35.96 percent, or 502 voters opposed to the levy.
Harold Herron, fiscal officer for Jackson Township, said they are thankful the levy passed.
“Once again, we thank the citizens of Jackson Township,” Herron said. “We have always been very fortunate that people support us in a big way.”
Herron said the funds will support the fire department, which is operated by the township, and fund the EMS contracts that the village has with Wayne Township, Stonelick Township and Williamsburg.
Herron said the levy is expected to generate approximately $109,000 for the township.
“They levy will continue the services that we’ve got,” Herron said. “It was a replacement levy for five years.”
Herron said the fire department is always available for an emergency in the township, and he said they have a very good relationships with the other departments that provide EMS services to residents in the township.
“I think people see a need for fire and EMS services and they come out and support it,” Herron said.
Pierce Township successfully replaced a 2.3 mill waste levy Nov. 6.
The levy passed with 69.44 percent, or 4,126 voters in favor of the levy and 30.56 percent, or 1,816 voters opposed to the levy.
Township administrator David Elmer said prior to the election that the levy will generate approximately $769,000 for the township.
Elmer said the funds will be used to pay for weekly residential-only waste collection for 4,400 residential properties as well as other township waste removal including roadside litter and yard waste from parks, cemeteries and other public grounds.
Elmer said this year, Rumpke submitted the lowest bid and also included full-service recycling into the contract this year.
He said contracting with Rumpke allows the township to have one billing source for all residents, which reduces costs.
Election results are unofficial until they are certified by the Clermont County Board of Elections. For more information visit www.clermontelections.org.