Countywide recreation levy fails badly

Blan village tax renewal passes; school tax fails

By Gary Huffenberger - and Tom Barr - News Journal

Voters soundly rejected a levy to fund a countywide joint recreation district, with its stated aim of creating and improving parks and wellness projects around Clinton County, including a new recreation and wellness facility.

The vote was 6,404 against (74.1 percent) and 2,237 in favor (25.9 percent).

Ron Rudduck, co-chair of the levy campaign, said Tuesday night he is disappointed with the outcome. He said the message of the levy campaign was that supporters were interested in trying to increase recreational opportunities throughout the county, “and obviously that message didn’t resonate with the voters.”

The Clinton County Joint Recreational District board, which requested the levy, now will have to decide where they go from here, said Rudduck. Though not on the board, Rudduck anticipates they will look at the results, see where the support was, and get feedback.

For a $100,000 homeowner, the 3-mill, 30-year tax levy would have cost $105 a year (or $8.75 per month) in additional property tax.

A Clinton County Recreation & Wellness Center, centrally located in Wilmington, was envisioned to include a competition lap pool, a warm water therapy pool, an ADA-compliant, zero-entry recreational pool for young children and families, an indoor walking and running track, a gymnasium, indoor basketball court, and fitness resources.

Out of the three issues put to the vote for the Village of Blanchester, only the village’s 4-mill tax levy renewal was approved — by a margin of 477-462. The levy will be used to help maintain current operating expenses for the village.

The two that weren’t approved by voters are the referendum to abolish the Board of Trustees for Public Affairs and a 1 percent earned income tax of residents in the Blanchester Local Schools district.

The referendum saw 541 voting against it and 388 for it. The referendum would have abolished the elected positions of BPA Trustees and established a village administrator role. The village council had voted 4-2 to abolish it, but BPA members filed to place the issue on the ballot.

The Blanchester Local Schools 1 percent earned income tax of residents in the Blanchester school district lost 955 to 603. The Blanchester School Board in August decided to put the proposed income tax on the ballot as a possible way to help deal with revenues and expenditures for the schools. With the tax, the district sought to generate $1.4 million each of the next five years.

The SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS levy passed by a vote of 579 for and 415 against. The reason the SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS proposed the additional property tax levy is to have fire and EMS personnel on station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Clinton-Highland Joint Fire & EMS District tax levy passed in Clinton County in a vote of 332 for and 204 against. Results in Highland County were not completed at press time. The fire and EMS district requested the additional 2.5-mills levy to provide the added revenue to have 24/7 on-station fire and EMS crews.

The Port William-Liberty Twp. Joint Fire & EMS District additional tax levy of 3.46 mills was approved 190 to 99. The levy is for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus for a period of five years.

The Port William-Liberty Twp. Joint Fire & EMS District bond issue of 1.2 mills for the purpose of acquiring and constructing a firehouse and related apparatus, buildings, and improvements, passed 171 to 116.
Blan village tax renewal passes; school tax fails

By Gary Huffenberger

and Tom Barr

News Journal