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Voters quick to support renewals, replacements

WARREN — Voters in Trumbull and Mahoning counties were generous when it came to approving renewal and replacement levies, but most requests for new money were rejected.

Actually, it was a clean sweep for renewal and replacement levies in the two counties.

In Trumbull, 12 renewal and four replacement levies were supported, while in Mahoning, nine renewals and two replacement levies were approved by voters.

Of the five additional levies in Trumbull County, two passed. In Mahoning County, only one of three additional tax issues were approved.

“Renewals do well. Additionals, not so much,” said Stephanie Penrose, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections. “It’s becoming more of a trend in recent years that the renewals pass and the additionals struggle. That’s what I’ve observed. It’s more challenging to get new taxes passed. But people seem satisfied with paying what they’re already paying.”

Thomas McCabe, deputy director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections., said: “We haven’t had a renewal levy fail in several years. Voters seem comfortable approving them.”

Among the big winners were a Gustavus 3-mill emergency medical service renewal levy that received 86.2 percent of the yes vote, a Girard 3-mill fire renewal with 82.4 percent support and a village of Poland 3.2-mill renewal with 78.1 percent of the vote.

All but three of the renewal and replacement issues in the two counties passed with at least 60 percent of the vote.

They were:

• A Lakeview school 3.8-mill renewal levy with 59.7 percent.

• A Jackson-Milton school 1.7-mill renewal levy with 54.8 percent.

• A Niles school 5.7-mill renewal levy with 52.2 percent — the closest vote of any renewal levy in the two counties.

In Trumbull County, a 0.4-mill additional levy for the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library was approved with 59 percent of the vote while a Howland 2.25-mill additional levy for fire and emergency medical services was supported with 65.3 percent of the vote.

Two Newton Falls school district additional levies — one for 4.5 mills and the other for 1.9 mills — were defeated, with both receiving 42.3 percent support.

A Brookfield school 1.9-mill additional levy also failed, gaining 42.4 percent support.

Also among the additional levies, a 2-mill bond issue to build a new fire station in Struthers was the biggest winner, garnering 82.5 percent support from voters. It was the only request for new money in Mahoning County to be approved by voters.

The new station will cost $2 million and be built at 238 Elm St., about a quarter-mile from the current 77-year-old station. The station is expected to be done by 2021.

For the third time in about a year, voters in the West Branch school district rejected a 0.5-percent income tax. In Tuesday’s election, it received only 37.1 percent support in Mahoning County. The district also includes Columbiana County, where it received 43.4 percent support.

A Beaver Township 2.9-mill additional levy for police services received 48.2 percent of the vote. Township voters overwhelmingly backed two renewal issues on the same ballot. A 3.6-mill police renewal levy received 74 percent support while a 1-mill fire renewal levy got 75.3 percent of the vote.

The Ohio School Board Association said voters across the state approved 113 of 154 public school district tax issues. Of the 41 issues rejected in Ohio, four were in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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