City eyes recreation tax ballot issue


AC working again at City Hall

By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@civitasmedia.com



The second floor of City Hall resembles a construction zone in this photo taken on June 19, as the city was working on its cooling system.


Gary Budzak | The Gazette

The new air conditioning unit was on top of City Hall in early July.


Courtesy photo | City of Delaware

Delaware City Council will consider today whether to approve a resolution to put an issue on the ballot that could change the city’s recreation income tax , or decide to make the change itself.

If put before voters and approved, the November issue would decide whether to eliminate the .15 percent recreation levy when city’s debt services of $23.8 million have been repaid.

However, city staff thinks council should just change the ordinance rather than put the question to voters.

Council member Andrew Brush has requested the legislation, and the language was crafted by bond counsel. Brush asked for the referendum to ensure that future council members do not borrow against the income tax increase which was approved in 2008.

City staff recommends passage of the ordinance by council, but not the resolution to put it on the ballot. Among the reasons cited by staff are:

• Confusion of the wording of a ballot issue, which could be changed by the county Board of Elections.

• Even if voters passed the issue, the ordinance could be revised by a future council.

• The ordinance could be adopted by council without having to go on the ballot and have the same legal impact.

• It would save the expense of being placed on the ballot, which is between $11,500 and $16,300.

The legislation states the resolution would declare “the necessity of an election on the question of approving the passage of an ordinance to amend sections 191.03 and 191.14 of the codified ordinances of the city of Delaware, Ohio, to provide for the continuation of an existing fifteen one-hundredths of one percent (0.15 percent) levy on income by the city for the purpose of improving recreation facilities and paying the debt service charges of securities issued for that purpose, but limiting the final calendar year in which the tax will be levied to the calendar year in which the debt service charges on securities issued pursuant to such authority and outstanding as of June 1, 2015, including and securities hereafter issued to refund those securities, have been fully paid or provided for.”

The third reading of the resolution/ordinance will be given in a cooler council chambers. On May 7, the failing air-conditioning unit was turned off, and because of the heat in City Hall, some council meetings were moved to Mingo Park.

“During that time, interior work was done and new service lines were installed in preparation for the new chiller, which was lifted onto the City Hall roof in early July,” said community affairs coordinator Lee Yoakum in an email. “Air conditioning became operational the week of July 7.”

The air-conditioning improvements cost $125,000.

Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today, which is earlier than the typical 7 p.m. start time.

“The earlier start time were proposed by Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle as a seasonal, summer change to better fit busier schedules of members and residents,” Yoakum said. “It is temporary.”

The public may attend today’s meeting. Council chambers are on the second floor of City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.

The second floor of City Hall resembles a construction zone in this photo taken on June 19, as the city was working on its cooling system.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/07/web1_DSCF58581.jpgThe second floor of City Hall resembles a construction zone in this photo taken on June 19, as the city was working on its cooling system.

Gary Budzak | The Gazette

The new air conditioning unit was on top of City Hall in early July.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/07/web1_ac-city-hall1.jpgThe new air conditioning unit was on top of City Hall in early July. Courtesy photo | City of Delaware
AC working again at City Hall

By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@civitasmedia.com

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.