ASHLAND -- Ashland County commissioners Thursday approved a resolution that will put on the ballot an additional 5-year, 2-mill levy to fund services and facilities for children and seniors.
The levy, which would provide funds to the Ashland County Council on Aging and the county’s Department of Job and Family Services, will be on the Nov. 2 ballot, as commissioners approved in their July 15 meeting.
If approved, the property tax increase will take effect Jan. 1. The tax levy would generate $2,860,894 annually, shared between the agencies. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $70 per year.
Sandy Enderby, executive director of the Ashland County Council on Aging, spoke about the levy ahead of the commissioners' vote.
With the additional funding, Enderby said the council could expand programs such as home delivered meals and create programs such as a respite care program for caregivers and a guardianship program. The guardianship program would likely create two new jobs on its own, Enderby said.
“This is considered a human service levy,” Enderby said.
According to the latest Census data from 2019, 19.1% of Ashland County residents are 65 years old or older, and 22.3% of residents are under 18 years old, meaning the levy would directly impact approximately 40% of Ashland residents.
If the levy does not pass in November, Enderby said it would be placed on the May ballot.
American Rescue Plan
A representative from the Rural Lorain County Water Authority also presented during Thursday’s meeting, regarding American Rescue Plan funds.
Joe Waldecker, general manager at Rural Lorain County Water Authority, discussed prioritizing ARP funds for projects to improve water quality in the northern townships.
“Some of us take it for granted when it comes to never having to worry about water and just turning it on,” Waldecker said.
Rural Lorain County Water Authority has three main projects scheduled in Ashland County, including two in Troy township — what Waldecker called a Nova transmission main upgrade and a Nova pump station improvement — and another project that involves three line extensions to expand water access.
The total cost estimate for the projects is around $1 million, Waldecker said.
In other business:
During the quarterly investment advisory committee meeting, Treasurer Angie McQuillen reported through the second quarter of 2021 the county earned $52,155.05, McQuillen said.
“We haven’t had a tremendous jump since the first quarter, which is due obviously to interest rates,” McQuillen said.
McQuillen also reported two banks bid on the depository active account for a four-year contract.
Sherry Snyder, commercial cash management with Park National Bank, announced Erica Bays from the Ashland Office will be handling strictly cash management effective in August, meaning she will forgo her managerial role and solely concentrate on funds in Ashland and other counties.
-- The commissioners approved appropriations for a solid waste scholarship ($1,631.29 to fund transfers); for juvenile IV-D, which is a federal/state partnership to enforce child support obligations against non-custodial parents ($18,900 to fund wages, $2,800 to fund PERS, $240 to fund Medicare); and for real property tax ($183,775 to fund tax distribution).
-- The commissioners approved travel expenses for county employees to various meetings.
Emergency Management Director Mark Rafeld will travel to Vinton County, Ohio, for a State Amish Collaborative Committee Meeting on July 28 for an estimated expense of $75.
Department of Job & Family Services employees Betty Honaker and Kerri Schaub will travel to Shelby on July 27 and July 29 as well as New Philadelphia on July 28. Each of the three trips will cost $12 per employee.
Job and Family Services director Peter Stefaniuk will travel to New Philadelphia on July 28 for $50.00.
-- The commissioners declared the following items from the sheriff to be disposed of by internet auction, per Ohio Revised Code: Panasonic 50” Plasma TV, Horton Cross Bow, Roadmaster 6 Speed Bike, Homelite Chainsaw, and Stihl Chainsaw.
Commissioner Michael Welch did not attend Thursday's meeting.