ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Voters approved two new township levies Tuesday, providing what trustees say is much needed support for the township's cemeteries and fire department.

The 1-mill, five-year cemetery levy passed 277 votes, or 55 percent, to 227 votes or 45 percent, according to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections unofficial results.

The 2-mill, five-year fire department levy garnered 328 votes, or 65 percent, to 177 votes, or 35 percent, according to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections unofficial results. 

Township officials promised voters the cemetery levy will cover the installation of a new water line and provide money for road repairs at the cemeteries, while the fire department levy replaces almost $700,000 lost from the state.

When contacted Tuesday night, Bambi Paulchel, chairperson of the Board of Trustees, said she's grateful to the voters.

"We have a lot of work to do in our cemeteries and this will help us a great deal," she said. "This is a huge step forward and I am very excited about it."

Trustee Stephen McClure said he's ecstatic with the news.

"I am happy for the township," he said. "It's a vote of confidence from township residents." 

The cemetery levy will raise $121,000 annually and cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $33 per year, Township Clerk Robert Dille has previously said.

The fire department levy will generate about $242,000 per year and cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $66 per year, he said.

Paulchel said the township plans to use the fire department levy money to update and maintain the fire and emergency equipment.

The levies purposely exclude the city because city residents have voted down township issues in the past.