Trustees proceed with new road levy

LIBERTY — While two trustees hope voters will approve a 12-year road levy, a third feels another five-year road levy stands a better chance of getting support at the polls.

Township trustees voted 2-1 Monday to place a 2.5-mill, 12-year replacement road levy on the Nov. 6 ballot to raise nearly $544,000 annually for road projects.

Trustee Chairman Arnie Clebone, who with Trustee Greg Cizmar cast the “yes” votes, said the new levy would replace a 1.25-mill levy approved in 2013 that expires next year. It generates $240,000 per year.

“We are asking for 12 years because that is the amount of years it will take to raise the $6.2 million, which we feel is sufficient to get all the roads in the township done. That will also help us to get what we are hoping is $2.3 million in grants over that time period for road projects,” Clebone said.

“I know 12 years is a long time, but roads are something that affect everyone’s life every single day. You see and use roads every day,” Clebone said.

The owner of a $100,000 home would pay $88 per year.

Trustee Jodi Stoyak, who voted against the 12-year levy, said it “would not ultimately fix the township’s roads long term” since there are many that need work now.

She said she would favor an additional 1.25-mill, five-year levy this year and a renewal of the current 1.25 mills next year.

Stoyak said 12 years is a long time for a levy and will be difficult to get passed. She noted it was difficult to get five-year levies passed in recent years.

Clebone said that 12 years “is an unusually long time for a levy,” but noted this would allow for a long-term road plan.

In other business, trustees voted 2-1 to apply for a Federal Service Transportation grant that may provide 80 percent funding for paving and other improvements for roads.

Clebone said a section of Fifth Avenue from the southern township border to Goldie Road and Goldie Road from Fifth Avenue to Belmont Avenue would be eligible as they are designated as “federal-aid highways.”

Clebone said if a grant is received the match would be no more than 20 percent, or up to $125,000. Officials said it may take five years to get the grant depending on available funds.