DPHD levy on November ballot


The Delaware Public Health District will be on the ballot next month asking voters to approve the renewal of a .7-mill tax levy that officials said provides “vital” financial support to the district.

Traci Whittaker, the public information officer for the health district, said Thursday the funds from the levy are used to cover expenses for services like newborn home visits, car seat safety checks, drug overdose prevention efforts, public health nuisance investigations, mosquito control, communicable disease monitoring, and “active participation in various coalitions and partnerships that make Delaware County the healthiest county in the state.”

“All of our services are essential for maintaining the health and well-being of the community,” Whittaker said. “There are several important services that the levy helps fund, such as immunizations for infants, protecting residents from communicable, vector-borne and food-borne diseases, and operating community health clinics. Additionally, the levy helps fund local health assessments and data collection that supports mental health and addiction services, as well as services for vulnerable populations. It’s essential that this data is available to the necessary organizations and individuals to ensure that the right resources and support are provided to those who need it most.”

The levy costs $17 a year per $100,000 of assessed home value. The district reported it has operated with the levy at .7 mills since 1984.

“People love living in Delaware County,” said Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet. “When we’ve spoken to people who have either stayed or moved into the county, a significant number of them indicated that they are seeking good government and a high degree of social services. Our reputation as the healthiest county in the state matters to people.”

Guillozet added DPHD “has been and will continue to be an excellent steward of public resources.”

“We do not take the levy for granted, and we know that the public expects and deserves transparency and accountability for their financial resources they provide through the levy,” Guillozet said.

If the levy does not pass, the district said it and the Delaware County Board of Health would “be put in a place to potentially cut or scale back important services.”

“Additionally, levy dollars are used to cover the cost of many grant activities as most of our grants are reimbursable,” Whittaker said. “It’s important to make sure that the necessary funds are available to cover grant-related expenses until reimbursement is received, as these activities are critical to the success of the health district.”

Whittaker emphasized that levy dollars cannot and were not used to fund the building of the district’s new facility at 470 S. Sandusky St. in Delaware.

“Levy dollars can only be used for operational and program expenses, therefore the Board of Health saved and allocated funds from program fees and permits since 2000 to be used to construct the new facility,” Whittaker explained Thursday.

The levy will be on the ballot on Nov. 7.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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