By Stacy Kess
A 0.7-mill 10-year renewal levy to support the Delaware General Health District passed Tuesday with more than 64 percent of the vote.
“We of course are very thankful and we are grateful to our community for having faith in us and having faith in our abilities and services we provide,” said DGHD executive director Shelia Hiddleson. “I believe that our staff do an excellent staff every single day and so every single contact we have with our public reinforces the good things we do on a daily basis.”
The levy is a renewal to an existing levy and will not increase taxes; property owners pay about $19.20 annually per $100,000 residential property value.
The levy provides about 55 percent of the operating budget for the health district, which is a Combined Health District, covering public health needs for the City of Delaware, Powell and most of Delaware County — about 170,000 residents. It does not cover areas of the county that are annexed to Westerville, Dublin and Columbus.
Kelsey Sommers of the Delaware Health Levy Committee said the renewal levy will fund continuing services, including the control of communicable disease; infant, children, adult and elderly health programs; environmental and food safety; nursing services; and health and AIDS education by the DGHD.
She said although the Health Levy Committee did help get the word out to the public about the importance of the levy renewal, DGHD’s contact with the community secured the vote.
“On the committee, we really tried to just uplift DGHD and get the word out about public health people do,” she said. “Obviously we’d like to think that all of our advertising campaigns and getting the word out over the last year did help. But I like to think DGHD has a good relationship with the community. DGHD is an organization that is really out there a lot. Everybody really does get touched by public health.”
Sommers said the Health Levy Committee is grateful to the community for passing the levy.
“The Levy Committee looks forward to watching the health district continue its efforts.”
Stacy Kess can be reached on Twitter @StacyMKess.