Levy for police, fire pensions, capital improvements may be on May ballot

Ken Lahmers, Correspondent
Special to MyTownNEO

TWINSBURG – City Council introduced legislation Jan. 12 to pave the way for placing a 2.4-mill levy on the May 4 ballot to fund police and fire department pensions and capital improvements.

Two measures were considered relating to the matter. Council adopted the first, which declared the necessity to levy the 2.4 mills. The second goes on to second reading and asks the Summit County Board of Elections to place the levy on the primary election ballot.

Council set a special meeting for Jan. 19 to read the resolution for the second time, and likely will approve it on third reading at its Jan. 26 regular session. The issue must be submitted to the board of elections by Feb. 3.

Mayor Ted Yates said the millage is the same amount Council had hoped to enact in the latter part of 2020. That attempt was thwarted when voters passed an initiative issue in November to limit unvoted charter property tax to 2 mills.

Yates said the proposed levy is a byproduct of results from an online resident survey about city services and practices. “The feedback was quite helpful, and the city thanks the residents who participated,” he said.

Of the total 2.4 mills, 0.7 each would generate funds for police officer and firefighter pensions, while 1.0 would go for police/fire capital improvements. Yates said the county auditor will determine how much tax money the 2.4 mills will bring in annually. If passed by voters, the first collection of the tax would be in 2022.

“My focus for 2021 is to get the community back to some type of normalcy,” Yates said. “The need for additional revenue is still there, and this does not take away from future discussions about that.”

OTHER BUSINESS

Council authorized the mayor to enter into an agreement with Twinsburg Township to provide fire protection and emergency medical services.

The three-year contract runs from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023. The township will pay $679,093 in 2021, a 5 percent increase over 2020; $699,465 in 2022; and $720,448 in 2023.

The township will charge users $550 for ambulance basic life services, $650 for Advanced I services, $700 for Advanced II services and 10 cents per mile for ambulance trips.

Yates also was authorized to enter into the annual memorandum of understanding with Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners Inc. to assist in the management of stormwater runoff and related issues so the city can fulfill its duties under its EPA General National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System permit.

Two rezoning requests went on to third reading, and public hearings will take place Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. If OK’d by voters, the rezonings would pave the way for housing developments on 13.3 acres southwest of the Ravenna-East Aurora roads intersection and 12.3 acres on the southwest corner of Route 82 and Chamberlin Road.

Council had no objections to liquor permit transfers for Circle K on East Aurora Road and the Aaron & Moses Restaurant at Gleneagles Golf Course. Members eliminated the compensation committee as a city panel because it is no longer needed.

Council President Jo-Ann McFerrin announced there are some openings available on city boards and committees, and citizens interested should contact the Council clerk’s office.

Contact the newspaper at 330-541-9430, or twinsburgbulletin@recordpub.com.