CONNEAUT — City council voted to put a 3 mill continuing levy on the November ballot at Monday’s meeting.
The vote comes after more than a month of discussions about doubling the city’s current fire levy, which pays for emergency medical services for the city.
Currently, there are three full-time firefighters on staff at a given time, with a possible fourth firefighter, depending on availability of part-time personnel.
Because of the limited staffing, the fire department can only handle one EMS call at a time when there are three people on a shift, City Manager Jim Hockaday said on Monday.
The levy would allow for the addition of three new firefighters to the department, bringing the department up to 12 full-time members, and allowing for four firefighters to be on a shift at once.
In June, Fiscal Officer John Williams presented council with a breakdown of the cost increases associated with the new levy.
The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $105 a year.
The levy is continuing, because it is tied to personnel, Hockaday said.
In other business:
• A Tax Increment Financing plan was introduced to council on Monday night. The plan, which would pay for improvements to the intersection of Loves Drive and Route 7, would use the increase in property taxes from the Truck World facility to pay for the improvements.
Law Director Kyle Smith said the improvements would cost $1.6 million.
The Conneaut Area School District will have to approve the plan, since the property taxes would otherwise go to the district.
Traffic signals will be added to the intersection, along with turning lanes and other improvements.
Truck World, announced in 2017, will sit across from Love’s Travel Stop on Route 7, and is expected to cost between $12 and $15 million.
• Hockaday formally introduced the head of the city’s economic development firm to council. Jennifer Syx, President of inSITE Advisory Group, was hired in January as part of a partnership between the city, Conneaut Port Authority, and the Conneaut Foundation.
Syx briefed council on some of the projects she had been working on, including the Truck World TIF, and the creation of an Energy Special Improvement District, which was also presented to council on Monday.
• Council approved applications for an agricultural district in the city after a public hearing on July 1. The district needs to be approved by the county auditor.
The district would protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits, defer tax assessments from utility improvements, and require eminent domain claims against property inside the district to be reviewed at the state level.