City Puts 2 Levies on November Ballot

One is a renewal, the other would raise taxes a little

Strongsville voters will see two city levies on the November ballot.

A 1.5-mill fire levy renewal would continue to generate $2.168 million a year for firefighters' salaries citywide and for operating expenses at the Priem-Albion fire station, according to Finance Director Joseph Dubovec.

Because it is a renewal, it would not raise taxes. It was originally approved as a 1.7-mill levy, but was reduced to 1.5 mills in 2008.

The other issue, a 0.4-mill levy for sewers, would replace an existing 0.5-mill issue and would mean an increase of about $6 a year per $100,000 in home valuation.

Dubovec said the original half-mill levy was originally approved in 1976 and is now being collected at an effective rate of .0927 mills. 

Currently, it generates $165,000 a year and costs a homeowner $2.84 a year for every $100,000 of home valuation.

The replacement be collected at the most recent property valuations, rather than the valuations from 1976. It would cost a homeowner $9.41 a year per $100,000 and would generate $578,000 a year, Dubovec said.

The sewer levy goes toward renovating storm sewers and drainage ditches.

There will be another money issue on the November ballot as well -- an to build a new middle school, make major renovations at and take care of repairs at elementary schools.


Pat Soltesz June 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Where are people who are on a fixed income supposed to come up with any extra money for tax increases. Although $6 doesn't seem like a lot, you add this onto increasing cost of living expenses, and gas costs rising, utilities, water, etc., all these seemingly small increased amounts add up! It would seem with all the new businesses opening in our city, we would not need another levy.
James Murphy June 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM
bet that $6.00 a month would be well worth it if one day you wake to find your neighbors house ablaze, and firefighters standing between their house and yours keeping you safe
TSW June 29, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Yes- we need firefighters------and hopefully, they will never have to rush to your home to save you from a raging fire. But, a few responsible questions should be answered Are wages and benefits being paid reasonable ? How much of the $2.17 million per year spent on firefighters and benefits ? How many firefighters,paramedics and related support staff in total ?
lyn June 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM
I'd like to see a salary and benefit comparison of firefighters and police, who risk their lives, to teachers who work 9 months and have their retirement contribution paid for. I'm more concerned about the contract the school is going to gift wrap for the teachers this time. However, if I read the article correctly, the fire levy will not raise taxes. It's the sewer levy that puts on the $6/$100,000. I have more of a problem with how the water and sewer dept. handled the huge rate increase to the far suburbs. Also, I thought (I guess incorrectly) each property owner was responsible for their own drainage ditches.
Chuck Santoro July 01, 2012 at 01:23 PM
If you wake up to sewage in your basement because of a backup in the storm sewers six dollars would be a bargain. Storm sewer backup will get into the sanitary sewers. The water dept is Cleveland water and has nothing to do with sewers. Our city takes care of the sewers on a limited budget and really needs this renewal. Some people won't even cut the grass in their own drainage ditches, you can tell witch ones by the waist high grass in them.
Winston Smith July 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Hi Lyn I also would like to see a comparison of those wages. But really think about this: Fireman and especially Policemen DON'T "risk there lives". That's a self-serving myth that both of those trades (more so cops) promote. I will vote "NO" on these levies.
Jim Kaminski July 11, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I agree with Chuck! Maintaining our sanitary sewers and strom drains is critical to our infrastructure. In the long run it's worth the extra $6.
lyn July 11, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Maybe they should also look at the source of some of the sewer problems. For example, from what I have read in the past, those people living in the Prospect area have had problems which can be traced to the construction of new homes nearby. Maybe there should be better planning before allowing these homes to be built if it is putting a strain on the existing sewers. And, maybe these builders should be picking up the costs to upgrade the sewers before building or be required to pay into some type of escrow account for future repairs to the older sewers that were not designed to handle all the new construction.
Jim Kaminski July 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM
If that's the case then I agree with those suggestions. However a crew works all year to maintain the current systems from leaks and breaks caused from trees and other issues not related to new homes. It keeps overall cost down for the homeowners by catching items very early by using small camera's to spot leaks and it helps prevent flooding issues by removing blockages. The city has a great program in place if you take the time to research it.
lyn July 11, 2012 at 05:35 PM
That's good to know. Knock on wood, we have not yet had sewer problems here. If we were to have any, I would hope the funds were there to take care of the problems. I'm glad to learn that the city takes preventative measures. Hopefully they will also consider my suggestions - which I would think have probably been recommended before. If the source of the problem can be traced to another, they should be held responsible - not the homeowner who has fallen victim merely to aging sewers. Also, I would think that each homeowner should be responsible for their own drainage ditches, not burdening the city with the costs of same. And, if a homeowner neglects their own ditch which causes a problem to others property, that other owner should have to cover the costs - just as each homeowner has to take care of their own tree lawns.


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