Freedom Twp. Levy passes, building plans proceed

By Larry Limpf

One of the first things Kent Schuerman did the morning after the election was contact the office of the Wood County treasurer, Jane Spoerl.
She was expecting the call, Spoerl told the Freedom Township trustee.
Voters in the township approved a 1.75-mill, 10-year property tax that will be used to fund the construction of a new office/maintenance building.
The additional millage will generate approximately $132,000 annually and cost the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 about $61.25 a year.
Under an arrangement permitted by Ohio Revised Code, the township and treasurer’s office would work with a bond company, Spoerl said, with the treasurer purchasing the bond for a specific amount, rate and terms.
The ballot issue passed by a vote of 807-for to 748-against, according to unofficial results.
“I was optimistic,” Schuerman said. “We had heard from a fair amount of people who said they were in favor of it. We didn’t have a lot of negative response. Still, it’s a big ask for some people.”
The trustees say frequent flooding along the Portage River and the damage it’s done to the current township office and maintenance facility on Water Street have prompted them to seek an alternative site for a new building.
The office building has flooded so often there is a problem with mold, Schuerman said. Six to eight feet of water in the basement when the river rises isn’t uncommon.
The township rents barns a safe distance away from the river to store road salt, vehicles and equipment, shuffling between them as the seasons change.
The trustees have purchased a five-acre parcel along State Rt. 105 where a new building will be located. Preliminary cost estimates for a new structure are around $800,000.
Schuerman said the board of trustees is cautiously optimistic the debt can be retired before 10 years.
Voters in the township also overwhelmingly approved two renewal levies; both are for fire and emergency medical services: a 3-mill, 3-year levy and a 1-mill, 5-year levy.


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