Roads renewal levy headed for NFC Twp. ballot

KEN LAHMERS
Correspondent

NORTHFIELD CENTER — A 1.4-mill renewal levy to maintain and repair township roads has been sent to the Summit County Board of Elections for placement on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

At a special meeting June 15, trustees adopted a resolution to send the levy to the board after the Summit County fiscal office determined the township’s total tax valuation is $164.94 million and the levy will generate $220,913 a year. If passed, the levy will not raise residents’ real estate taxes.

Collection of the current millage is set to expire at the end of this year. The new levy would run for five years, with collection starting in 2021.

According to Township Administrator Steve Wright, there are two other road levies on the books — one for 0.36 mill which brings in $58,892 per year, and one for 2.42 mills which brings in $108,974 a year.

Trustees authorized the fiscal officer to request and accept federal CARES Act funds through the state of Ohio and Summit County as laid out in Senate Bill 310 and Amended House Bill 481. CARES Act funds must be spent to cover township costs applicable to coronavirus relief.

Wright said the county has informed him the township should receive $355,138 from the county payroll support grant program (two installments in August and October), plus $129,785 from its HB 481 state allocation.

At the current contract rate and presumed annual increases, Wright said if the township applies the funds as, in essence, a credit on its 2020 sheriff’s department contract, it could potentially delay the need for a levy increase for an additional two years (by retaining more money in the police special revenue fund).

“This assumes a large number of variables and is purely speculative at this point,” he said. “The trustees have not decided how they desire to apply the funds. Obviously, the CARES Act incorporates a number of constraints on their use.”

Other Business

Durant Electric LLC was awarded a $4,200 contract to hook up electricity at the new Beacon Hills Park pavilion. Done on Time Construction is building the 16-by-28-foot structure for $17,980. The work is part of a $114,885 ODNR NatureWorks grant to improve the park.

Trustees gave Wright authorization to request assistance from the Summit County engineer to determine appropriate bid specs for the proposed Bayberry Road reconstruction project and approved revisions to the township’s schedule of fees and bonds.

The new fees and bonds can be found on the township’s website at www.northfieldcenter.com under the “community” category at the top of the page.

A resolution to declare Township Hall and the service department as local department operations centers was tabled pending the receipt of additional information.

Jason Dodson of the Roetzel & Andress law firm explained how a Tax Incentive Financing District would function. Trustees are considering establishing one along the Route 82 business corridor. It would allow the township to use property tax revenue from new business investments for public improvements or economic development.

The township has announced that the 2020 concert in the park and ice cream social will not take place because of COVID-19 concerns. Officials said they look forward to restoring the event next summer.

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