Voters pass several issues

By Aimee Hancock -

WAPAKONETA — Voters in Auglaize, Allen, and Hardin counties decided to renew a Mental Health and Recovery Services levy on Tuesday.

The levy, which works to help area victims of the opioid crisis by providing services like a crisis hotline, school-based prevention services, and housing for people in recovery, has been in place for the past five years.

According to Mental Health and Recovery Services Executive Director Michael Schoenhofer, the levy will raise $3.2 million per year, at an annual cost of $30 per $100,000 home.

“There’s a lot of support in all three communities for mental health and addiction services,” Schoenhofer said. “People are realizing these services really do work.

“Providers in these three counties are doing a great job treating kids, adults, and seniors,” he continued. “This (renewal) gives us five years to continue to provide these services, and it gives us a lot of hope.”

In Minster, voters decided to renew the Minster School’s .2 mill recreation replacement levy.

According to Minster Local Schools Superintendent Brenda Boecke, the recreation levy has been regularly passed for around 50 years, but due to de-valuation of homes, the income from the current levy had declined to around $13,000.

Other income sources have also dried up, including the personal tangible business tax, which was eliminated in 2004. This replacement levy will return income to 2004 levels.

Boecke said the levy will provide $30,695 per year for five years, at an annual cost of about $7 per $100,000 home.

“Minster Schools appreciates the high value the community places on education,” she said. “Many thanks to all the voters and to the members of the levy committee for their work on this levy campaign.”

Minster and Jackson Township voters decided to approve two separate three-mill, three-year levies to fund the Minster/Jackson Township Fire and EMS Department.

Passage of the levies will result in approximately $90,000 for the Jackson Township and $289,000 for the Village of Minster each year, at an annual cost of $105 per $100,000 home.

The Minster/Jackson Township Fire and EMS Department has suffered in recent years from a dwindling number of volunteer personnel. This, along with an expected rise in fire department expenses, and a shrinking General Revenue fund in both Minster and Jackson Township, has left the Fire and EMS Department in need of additional funding.

“We’re thankful and grateful to voters and their commitment to our communities,” said Matt Purpus, spokesperson of Citizens for a Safe Minster.

“We’re blessed with a high-level and strong fire and EMS service here in the Village of Minster and Jackson Township,” he continued. “We’re very happy with this outcome.”

By Aimee Hancock

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.