I am writing in support of the East Liverpool street levy that will be on the ballot this November. The people of East Liverpool had asked for more to be done by the City and by the Street Department. It is my belief that that request has been met.
The Street Department, under the direction of Dan Galeoti, has changed patching methods to provide better, and longer lasting, patches. We certainly understand that the job is not done, but it is clear that we are on the right path for maintenance. Additionally, the City has conducted a number of large-scale paving projects over the last couple years, including Pennsylvania Avenue, Lisbon Street, St. Clair Avenue, Bradshaw Avenue and state Route 30/39. These were all very expensive, but very necessary, projects that have greatly improved our City.
We cannot afford to slow down the progress being made. I fear that many great opportunities for our city will be lost if we do not pass this levy and begin major neighborhood paving projects. We would all like to see more businesses moving in to town, but we, as residents of East Liverpool, must show that we are committed to further improvements. If you wish to sell a house, you put a fresh coat of paint on it and make the needed repairs. This is no different. We must sell these businesses on our city. We must provide a welcome-mat of fresh asphalt.
Those of us on City Council and those in the administration understand that times are tough and money is tough to come by. We have heard the calls to tighten belts. But, if we are to improve as a community, we must invest in our community. A belt can only be tightened so far before you start doing more damage than good. This levy will do good!
For those who have expressed concerns about the handling of any levy money, please allow me to clarify this issue once and for all. The state of Ohio will not allow any member of this local government to spend these levy funds on anything but making long-term improvements to the streets of East Liverpool. These funds cannot be used to make payroll or to purchase property (concerns we have heard). That would be breaking state law and the mandatory state audits would certainly expose any such misuse of public funds. Furthermore, City Auditor Kim Woomer has offered to provide expense reports to anyone who requests one to see exactly how the levy money is spent. She has provided this service with previous levies and will do so again.
The cost of this levy is far less than any vehicle repair. A home valued at $40,000 would see a monthly increase of $5.10. For a $100,000 home, the increase would be just $12.76 a month. Newly-paved roads would cost less than a single typical tire.
Please give this levy your full consideration when you vote this November.
My sincerest thanks,