Election Briefs

Rogers street levy

ROGERS — Residents in the village of Rogers are being asked Nov. 8 to approve a 4-mill street levy, one which village officials hope will be enough for the town to eventually start having its streets resurfaced.

The levy would run for five years and generate an estimated $9,100 annually. It would cost the owner of a $50,000 home $70 a year in property taxes.

The purpose of the levy is generate enough additional revenue so the village can resume participating in the county engineer’s summer chip and seal resurfacing program. Under the program, participating villages and townships pay for the material, with the engineer’s office doing the resurfacing work for free.

Due to limited resources, the village of 237 residents has been unable to afford participating in the program for years, with the one-man street department relegated to filling potholes as money allows. Officials said the levy money, which can only be spent on street improvements and related equipment, will allow the village to resume participating in the county’s resurfacing program.

In 2015, the village spent $65,472 and ended the year with a $24,442 carryover balance, but nothing was spent for resurfacing streets besides filling potholes.

The village has 2.2 miles of streets and alleys.

Elkrun Township road levy

ELKTON — A new road levy for Elkrun Township would generate $100,000 a year for the road department if approved by voters on Nov. 8.

Township trustees are seeking a 2.55-mills additional road levy that would generate funds for the general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of roads.

The township is responsible for maintaining 52.46 miles of roadway.

Township Fiscal Officer Linda Eells said, if passed, the owner of a $50,000 home will see an increase in taxes of $43.75 a year while the owner of a $100,000 home will see an increase of $87.50 a year.

Voters approved renewal of a 2-mill road levy for the township in November of last year. In May of that same year voters also approved renewal of a 1.5-mill road levy.

Renewals result in no tax increase.

Center Township gas aggregation

LISBON — Center Township voters will be asked in the Nov. 8 election whether they want the trustees to participate in a program that could save residents money on their natural gas bills.

The gas aggregation proposal was first placed on ballot in 2014, but was defeated by township voters. Trustees agreed to try again after being asked to do so this summer by Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, which is a non-profit organization that works as a broker to obtain low natural gas prices on behalf of participating communities.

NOPEC currently serves more than 200 communities in Ohio, including 10 in Columbiana County.

NextEra Energy has a multi-year contract with NOPEC to serve as its exclusive aggregate natural gas supplier, with the savings passed on  to communities that opt to participate in the program, but trustees would be free to negotiate with any supplier. Aggregate is only one of several components that make up a gas bill.

If the ballot issue passes, trustees would be authorized to enter into contract negotiations with a natural-gas supplier, such as NOPEC, for a locked-in rate. Households and businesses in the township would receive a letter advising them they will be automatically enrolled in the discount program unless they choose otherwise, which can be done for free. Residents who opt out can change their mind and join later at no cost.

This is similar to an electricity aggregation program that has been in place for years.