As they have for many years, voters in the village of Ashley voiced their support during Tuesday’s primary election for a levy renewal that will allow the village to continue maintaining its roads.
The two-year, 3-mill levy renewal has been a mainstay on the ballot and was approved by 66% of the 112 voters who cast a ballot. The levy cycle will begin in 2020 and is first due in 2021.
Additional votes may still be counted before the election is certified as there is a May 8 deadline for absentee ballots mailed to the Delaware County Board of Elections and postmarked by April 27 to be received and counted in the vote.
Ashley Mayor Jim Nelson said the levy is critical given the decrease in funding the village receives from the state.
“The renewal of the road levy was very important for us, because we don’t get the funding from the state like we used to, and we try to maintain our roads the best we can,” Nelson said. “Without it, we would have been in trouble.”
Nelson said of the shortfall in funding, “With so many people being laid off, tax money is not coming in. I’ve also been reading where gas tax funds are going to be drastically cut because nobody is driving … If nobody drives, they don’t generate a tax, which goes to the state and then comes to our village.”
In March, Nelson said the village identifies two roads each year to be paved, which is as much as the village can afford to do given the rising cost of asphalt. This year, he said those roads will be South Street and East Taylor Street.
Asked why the millage rate has never been increased, Nelson referenced an editorial he previously read regarding other levies that appeared on the ballot in Delaware County. In the editorial, Nelson said it discussed how those of retirement age plan for what they need to fall back on, but new taxes always seem to ask for more.
“We try not to do that to village residents, and we try to keep it so that it is something they can afford and help the village out,” Nelson said last month.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.