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Fire levy to be on May ballot

December 4, 2013
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - East Liverpool Reporter ( , The Review

EAST LIVERPOOL - Voters will be asked to support renewal of an 8-mill fire protection levy on the May primary ballot after action taken Monday night by City Council.

By a unanimous vote, council approved a resolution authorizing placement of the levy on the ballot. If renewed, the levy will not increase taxes and will continue to generate about $633,000 annually over five years for fire department operations.

The levy costs the owner of a $40,000 home about $88 per year, the owner of a $70,000 home, $154 per year, and the owner of a $150,000 home, $330 per year.

With the understanding that it is a fluid document, the 2014 tax budget totaling $15 million was passed under suspension of rules. That amount includes a $4.4 million general fund.

Curtis has reminded council several times the tax budget can, and will, change as revenue and expenditures fluctuate next year.

The budget includes a $1.7 million transfer from the general fund to the police department and a $600,000 transfer to the fire department.

It was amended to reflect a possible change in the amount of salaries for council, council president, clerk and treasurer, with Curtis saying those figures can be changed if the salary increase does not take place.

Council gave the legislation for the salary changes first reading Monday night.

Cadmus Street resident Robert Richmond addressed council about the deteriorating condition of his street, while Ohio Avenue resident Linda Ziegler reiterated her concern that the number of rental units listed in a recent report by Better City LLC and that listed in city records need reconciled before new fees are put into place for rental units.

Councilman Russell Dray said people continue to park on the sidewalk along Harker Avenue despite having received letters warning them the parking laws will be enforced.

"It's time to take action. Put a ticket on them," Dray said, with Councilman Ray Perorazio agreeing with his assessment.

Perorazio also questioned deputy Service-Safety Director Dan Galeoti about the costs involved in razing and then dumping debris from an abandoned house on Boyce Street, with Galeoti saying the citys equipment is not suited to doing the work.

Mayor Jim Swoger reported the Christmas parade will be at 6 p.m. Saturday and Galeoti responded to Curtis' request to have streets swept beforehand by saying not only will they be swept, he anticipates street crews doing some patching of streets along the parade route.

Curtis commended city employees who worked on the recent Thanksgiving holiday, saying, "Thanks to those people who keep us safe and keep the city operating over the holidays."

President of Council Chuck Wade reported in-coming council members will be sworn in by Judge Melissa Byers Emmerling at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19.



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