Sandusky County:Mental health, schools on Tuesday’s ballot

By: 
Larry Limpf

Property owners in Sandusky County will realize a savings on their tax bills if a mental health levy on the May 7 ballot is approved.
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties has placed a 0.65-mill, 5-year levy on the ballot that would go into effect Jan.1, 2020 if passed.
A 0.8-mill levy now in effect is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31 of this year.
The proposed levy is for funding services specifically for Sandusky County residents and will cost the owner of property valued at $100,000 about $1.90 per month. Currently, property owners are paying $2.11 a month for the levy set to expire, according to data compiled by the board.
If the levy is approved, the mental health board will collect about $850,000 a year – about $110,000 less than what is being collected now – to fund 24/7 crisis and emergency services, out-patient mental health and addiction services, youth mentoring programs, foster care assistance, crisis intervention team training for first responders, programs for veterans and the elderly and other services.
Mircea Handru, executive director of the board, said the agency also receives state and federal grant funding. Much of that funding, he said, pays for programs to battle the opioid crisis and other issues.
He said Sandusky County would be facing a gap in funding for mental health services for children and programs for veterans if the levy fails Tuesday.

Woodmore renewal
Voters in the Woodmore School District will decide a 5-year renewal levy that generates about $829,000 a year for operating expenses.
As an emergency measure, the levy collects the same amount every year regardless of changes in property valuations.
Two other Sandusky County school districts will also have levies on the ballot.
The Margaretta Local School District is seeking renewal of a 6.2-mill, 5-year emergency levy and the Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District is asking for an additional 4.2 mills to avoid an operating deficit. It would be in effect for 10 years if approved.
Ballville Township is seeking voter approval of an additional 1.25 mills for current expenses. The levy would be in effect for five years if approved.

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