2013-08-03 / News

Trustees place an additional fire levy on Nov. 5 ballot

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP – In a special meeting Monday morning, Union Township Trustees took the final steps to place an additional 1.5 mill fire levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.

“We’re waiting to see who all gets to vote on it,” Trustee President Rick Black said.

The Licking County Budget Commission, which consists of the county auditor, county prosecutor and county treasurer, are in the process of resolving some very long-standing tax issues within Union Township, one of which is that both Buckeye Lake Village and Hebron are simultaneously incorporated but still considered part of Union Township. Both municipalities are deciding whether to secede from the township. The decision is particularly important for Buckeye Lake Village, which has its own fire levy on the November ballot. If Buckeye Lake doesn’t secede by Aug. 30, Buckeye Lake voters may find themselves voting on both levies, and would be responsible to pay both if they each pass.

Black said he believes Buckeye Lake favors secession. “The Buckeye Lake law director is seeing what they need to do,” he said. He believes Hebron does not.

Black said he believes there may be a default clause as to how money from millage transfers, and Union Township and the municipalities may be able to work out an agreement. As of Wednesday, however, he wasn’t certain. Heath is the only municipality in Union Township that has seceded, or “conformed” its boundaries.

Currently, Union Township has a 1.8 mill levy that collects $279,282, and a 1.5 mill levy that collects $227,847. An additional 1.5 mills would generate $237,677 if it is not collected in Buckeye Lake and Hebron.

In other township news:

• Black said trustees passed a resolution allowing some seismic testing along township roads for oil and gas exploration. “I’m confident it’s a couple of weeks off,” he said. Black said residents near the testing area would be notified by mail before any seismic testing occurs.

Union Township resident Gary Sitler, president of Eleven Eagle Energy Exploration Ltd., told trustees July 15 he specializes in gas and oil exploration and the township “has some interesting prospects.” He plans to conduct some seismic tests to quantify the prospects.

Sitler said the process involves using a thumper truck and recording the resulting vibrations. It was done on Loudon Street outside

Granville. “It’s very common stuff,” he said, adding that the vibrations aren’t severe and pose no threat to structures or individuals. Sitler said he’d agree to notify residents before any seismic tests take place.

• Black said construction on a new salt bin may be complete within two to three weeks. “The salt bin walls have been poured,” he said. The township is doing much of the excavation work in house. Black said the township is completing the excavation work around the contractor’s schedule. “We’re just doing our part as we’re asked,” he said.

Unexpected hurdles pushed back the 40’ x 60’ bin’s construction by nearly two years. Trustees awarded Quality Excavation and Construction with the bid to build the $91,800 project.

• Black said a Century Link phone line will have to be moved when the county repairs an ailing culvert on Refugee Road. He said he doubted the move would interrupt phone service, at least for any significant period of time. Black predicted the phone line would be moved before work begins. Fortunately for the township, Black said the county is covering the total cost of the culvert work. Previously, trustees believed Union Township would need to contribute $4,464 to the project, but that changed. Black said the culvert work will be completed on the county’s schedule and Century Link will decide when to service its phone line.

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