Police, fire, school levies pack the ballot in Lowellville

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LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) — Next Tuesday, voters in Lowellville will decide on three levies – two of which would mean new taxes – while the third will be to reallocate money for the schools.

The police and fire levies are both for five years. The police levy is for an additional 8.4 mills and the fire levy is an additional 3.4 mills. If both pass, for the owner of a house valued at $65,000 it will mean an extra $268 a year.

The police levy will go to replace two aging vehicles — and eventually for dispatching services — which the village has never had to pay for. Some of the money for the fire department will support the ambulance service, which with an aging population, has increased.

The school levy, however, will go from 4.2 mills to 4 mills. If passed, it will actually decrease taxes on a $65,000 by about $2 a year.

On one end of the brick sign at the Lowellville School building is the year 2002 — the year the school opened. The debt to build the school will be paid off next year but now, the money’s needed to keep it up.

“Even though the tax ballot says it’s an additional tax, if you step back and look at reality it’s not an additional tax. It is more or less a replacement tax at a lower value,” said Lowellville superintendent Geno Thomas.

The school levy money will pay for any improvements lasting at least five years, like a new track, roof, windows, or HVAC system.

Lowellville Mayor Jim Idiciani was unavailable for an interview, but when asked if having three levies on the ballot at the same time in Lowellville could hurt their chances of passing, he said “Obviously yes.”

“I think that the voters of Lowellville are very intelligent and they will read about which levies are for what,” Thomas said.

A fact sheet on the Lowellville police and fire levies states that if they pass, it will free up other money for other things, such as storm and sewer improvements.

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