The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 27, 2013

Conneaut leaders hope shorter street levy a hit with Nov. voters

Lifespan of original measure lopped in half

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — City leaders in Conneaut are hoping a shrunk-down street and road levy proves more pleasing to voters this fall.

A 2.75-mill levy will be back on the general election ballot in November, but this time the measure would expire after five years, half as long as the 10-year version voters barely rejected in 2012.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said Wednesday he has heard from numerous voters who said they would have supported the levy had it been shorter.

“People said they would go for a five-year levy, not 10 years,” he said. “Five years seems to be the selling point. (The problem) didn’t seem to be the millage, but the length of time.”

Last year, officials said the city could not afford to mount any big-ticket repair work without the levy. The statement proved true — no repaving work outside of grant-funded projects has been done so far this year.

The levy would raise an estimated $500,000 a year that would be used strictly for street and road repair projects. It would replace a .15-mill income tax hike earmarked for road maintenance that expired at the end of 2012.

In other road-related news, Eggleston has announced that brine will be applied by a hauler — when available — on several secondary roads this summer to help contain dust. The brine is free to the city, which much wait in line with other agencies for the substance, he said.

Roads that will be treated include Daniels Avenue; a large section of Underridge Road; and South Ridge East, Creek, Keefus, Dorman and Middle (south of South Ridge) roads.