By Linda Collins Special Correspondent
July 26, 2014
MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP — As Mad River Township voters head to the polls in November, they will be asked to approve an income-tax hike to fund the maintenance and repairs of township roads.
Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to place a five-year, 1.7-mill levy before voters. If approved, the measure would generate approximately $300,000 annually for the upkeep of almost 52 miles of paved roads in the township. Homeowners would begin paying the millage tax increase in 2015 which would amount to approximately $53.55 annually on a home valued at $100,000.
“We need to keep our infrastructure maintained for our township residents,” Trustee President Kathy Estep stated following the vote.
Estep explained that rising costs for road construction, state cuts in local-government funding, and the historically harsh winter that left township roads full of potholes had fueled the demand for more funding.
“Township residents know our current need for additional funding, and we appreciate their support,” said Estep. “Hopefully, the levy will pass, and we can begin repairing township roads as early as next spring.”
In a 3-0 vote, township trustees approved a resolution authorizing Estep to submit an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for financial assistance for the resurfacing of Old Mill Road. Estep said the road would be repaved from Dayton Springfield Road to Lower Valley Pike. She noted that the road is in extremely bad condition and is heavily traveled. The cost of the project would be about $200,000.
OPWC funded projects are evaluated on a competitive basis and are required to meet affordability standards established by the commission’s small government committee, according to Estep.
“The funding is limited and divided up between villages and townships. It is very competitive, but you don’t get it unless you try,” said Estep.
In other business, township trustees unanimously approved a resolution that would change the township’s healthcare coverage. As of Sept. 1, the township will participate in the Ohio Public Entity Consortium Healthcare Cooperative. Estep pointed out that changing the healthcare plan would save the township money by giving the township access to lower healthcare premium costs. The trustees also selected Fiscal Officer Leonard as the township representative at the consortium.
Township Trustee Robert McClure reported that trains blocking the railroad crossing on Old Mill Road had spurred complaints from several township residents. The trustee noted that in the past, the train had blocked a railroad crossing in the township for more than an hour.
Estep said the problem had become a safety issue for the township, and trustees had voiced their complaints to railroad officials. She recommended that township residents, who desired to voice their concerns, contact the Ohio Public Utilities Commission at 614-466-1150 and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Customer Support at 1-800-497-2919.
The next regular township meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at the Enon and Mad River Twp. Fire and EMS Station, 260 E. Main St.