The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jun. 4, 2020

OSU Extension levy, other issues on ballot

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Ohio State University Extension levy is among a number of local issues on the November 3 general election ballot, which includes a number of village and township fire protection and operating issues.

Election artwork 11-6-12OSU Extension Educator Curtis Young, who heads the local Van Wert County Extension office, notes that the Extension levy, which was reduced from 0.5-mill to 0.35-mill, following discussions with the Van Wert County Board of Commissioners, provides approximately $180,000 annually to fund operation of the local office, which includes paying salaries and benefits of local Extension educators and the 4-H program coordinator, as well as a full-time office associate and a part-time office associate.

In addition, with the proposed closing of the Extension’s economic development office in Van Wert, Program Coordinator Caitlin Jones’ salary and benefits would also likely be paid with Extension levy funds following a transition period.

Young said Jones would perform a variety of community development tasks for OSU Extension, but her salary and benefits would no longer be paid through the city’s hotel-motel tax.

He also noted that a pending decision to upgrade current 4-H Program Coordinator Heather Gottke to an Extension educator’s position would actually save the county money, since Gottke’s entire salary and benefits are now paid through the levy, while only a portion of her salary and all of her benefits would be paid by Ohio State when she is promoted to an Extension educator’s position.

Gottke earned her master’s degree a few years ago, a requirement to become an Extension educator, but has remained a program coordinator since then.

Currently, approximately a third of the levy’s annual revenues is used for 4-H operating expenses, which is primarily Gottke’s salary and benefits.

According to county officials, the Extension levy fund currently has a carryover of approximately $150,000.

Other issues on the ballot include the following:

  • An 8.97-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal for Parkway Local School District.
  • A 2.7-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal for the Village of Convoy.
  • A 3-mill, five-year fire levy renewal in the Village of Middle Point.
  • A 1.3-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal in the Village of Middle Point.
  • A 1-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal in the Village of Willshire.
  • A 3.5-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal in the Village of Wren.
  • A 2.5-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal in the Village of Wren.
  • A 5-mill continuing levy renewal for the Crestview Local School District.
  • A 1.8-mill, three-year fire/EMS levy renewal for Hoaglin Township.
  • A 1.7-mill, five-year fire/EMS levy renewal for Jennings Township.
  • A 1.25-mill, three-year fire/EMS levy renewal for Pleasant Township (excluding the City of Van Wert).
  • A 2.2-mill, five-year fire/EMS levy renewal for Ridge Township (West Fire District).
  • A 0.7-mill, five-year current expenses levy renewal for Tully Township.
  • A 2.1-mill, three-year fire/EMS levy renewal for York Township.

POSTED: 10/31/15 at 8:11 am. FILED UNDER: News