LOGAN — It was a victorious night for the Republican Party in Hocking County as those running for political office took home the big win from the election.
Not only were the Republicans victorious, but also levies and issues on the ballot including Hocking County Children Services, Logan City Pool, Hocking County Health Department and the Scenic Hills Senior Center were big winners of the night.
Logan City Pool — Four years ago, voters went to the polls and shot down the proposed pool levy by one vote — the totals came back 911 against and 910 for. However, fast-forward four years later to Nov. 6 and those casting their ballots saw a need and passed the new pool levy 1,409 for the bond versus 925 against. These of course are the unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.
This was a great victory for the City of Logan, who has been working closely with the Friends of the Logan Pool Committee to make this dream become a reality.
“I’m ecstatic,” stated Logan City Mayor Greg Fraunfelter of the big news. “We have been talking about this all morning and figuring out what our next steps are.”
The plan, according to Fraunfelter, is to open the current pool for June and July 2019; close the pool Aug. 1; and start construction immediately. There is a possibility, barring that nothing happens such as inclement weather, the new pool could be completed and operational by June 2020.
“This is the best news ever and I’m so excited,” Fraunfelter added. “Kids will have the diving boards so they can learn to dive; the seniors can exercise in the lap lanes; there could even be swim team competitions held here. I’m just so ecstatic that it passed. Most importantly, kids will learn to swim!”
According to a feasibility study conducted by a team of consultants from Brandstetter Carroll Inc., the proposed pool surface area would include 5,960 square feet, while the pool deck and grass areas would triple the size of the pool surface which amounts to 17,880 square feet.
In addition, the study indicates that a new food and beverage center would be erected, as well as 2,980 square feet dedicated to shade structures, new 5,000 square foot pool house and filter building, parking spaces, and access and open space amounting to a total of 87,660 square feet or a total of two acres.
The new pool facility will include six lap lanes with diving area and a climbing wall added to the deep end, while a combined splash pad and activity pool with zero-entry to two feet and six inch water depth that would include interactive water play elements. A slide plunge pool for a water slide would be installed as well.
Voters living within the city limits of Logan were asked to support the construction of a new swimming pool facility at a cost of $3 million. The ballot stated that the principal amount of $3 million would be paid over a maximum of 25 years and an annual levy of property taxes to be made outside the 10-mill limitation, estimated by the county auditor over the repayment of the bond issue one and seven tenths (1.7) mills for each one dollar of tax valuation, which amounts to .17 cents for each one hundred dollars of tax valuation, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019, to pay the annual debt charges on the bonds and to pay debt charges on any notes issued in anticipation of those bonds.
According to Fraunfelter, it will increase property taxes for residents with a $100,000 home about $59.50 per year.
“The City of Logan officials were encouraged to place the bond issue on the ballot because it only failed by a single vote when it appeared on the ballot in 2014. In June of this year, the City of Logan, determined that the only way to afford a project of this magnitude was to seek a real estate tax increase from voters. We believe building a new aquatic facility will greatly increase the livelihoods of local residents and visitors alike,” Fraunfelter concluded.
The Hocking County Children Services levy was a close call but the voters came through with 4,957 votes for the levy versus 4.770 against it. As you may recall, the Children Services levy was first introduced to the voters on the May ballot when it was shot down with 1,732 against the levy and 1.616 for it.
Voters were asked to support a new 1.0 mill/five-year Children Services levy to assist in the support of Hocking County children in need of out of home care to remain safe. Levy funds will be used for direct care assistance.
Hocking County Commissioner Jeff Dickerson spoke to The Logan Daily News regarding the levy.
“I’m very happy, in fact I’m elated that the Children Services levy passed,” stated Dickerson. “It was vital that it passed, I believe it was by 188 votes. If it hadn’t passed — it was never a threat, but it was a fact that if it hadn’t passed, Hocking County would have employees that would probably have been let go. And other drastic measures would have been taken to come up with the money necessary to support Children Services and get it distributed to the children of Hocking County for their placement.
“It puts them in a much better position financially; they too will not have to scrape and figure out how they’re going to get by,” he added. “It’s a blessing truly that the levy passed. I would also say that I was more concerned about the Children Services levy passing than I was my own election bid because of the impact the failure would have had if the levy hadn’t passed. There were a lot of sleepless nights.”
Jody Walker, executive director of South Central Ohio Job and Family Services also spoke with the newspaper.
“The successful passage of the Hocking County Children Services Levy helps to solidify a stable funding source of placement cost for children in agency custody,” remarked Walker. “The cost of care was becoming such a large county obligation, the commissioners would have needed to look at other revenue to help pay for the increased cost of care. This could have been detrimental to other county operations.”
According to Walker, the levy will commence in 2018, since it has successfully passed, and will be first due in calendar year 2019.
“As stated earlier, the community can expect the agency to continue to meet the needs of the children who come into agency care. With the severity of issues facing many of our children, the levy allows us to ensure the children’s needs are met, while working towards the best possible outcome for each child,” he added.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have such strong support from the community in the successful passage of the levy. I think it is indicative of the hard work done by the levy committee, as well as the direct support from our community partners and elected officials,” Walker commented.
“Our goal was to ensure voters had all the information necessary to make an informed decision on the need for the Hocking Children Services levy. I want to thank the voters, our levy committee, community partners, and our elected officials for their support for such a critical need in the county, the future and safety of our children,” he concluded.
Logan Elm School District — Also on the ballot for Hocking County voters was the Logan Elm School District levy, which affected a portion of Laurelville residents.
The levy passed with a total vote of 3,154 votes (54.75 percent) for the bond levy and 2,608 votes (45.25 percent) against the bond levy in both Pickaway and Hocking counties. In Pickaway County, 2,753 voted in favor (61.62 percent) and 1715 voted against (38.38 percent) and in Hocking County the vote was 401 (30.99) in favor and 893 (69.01 percent) against.
Tim Williams, Logan Elm School District Superintendent, said the new PK-12 school building is for the community and will feature modern amenities and technology.
The new PK-12 building will be located immediately to the west of Logan Elm High School on the Tarlton Road campus. The current high school will be torn down and McDowell will remain as the District Office and as additional space to be used by the district as needed.
The building is scheduled to be open for the 2022-2023 school year. The 37-year bond issue is for 6.79 mills with a .5 permanent improvement levy required by the state. It will cost $21.26 per month on $100,000 of property value.
There were two renewal levies on the ballot as well — Hocking County Health Department and Scenic Hills Senior Center.
Hocking County Health Department — Hocking County Health Commissioner, Doug Fisher, stressed the importance of a good county health department and was elated that the levy passed by 2,181 votes — 5,950 for; 3,769 against.
The county health department deals with everything from preparation for outbreaks — which involves working with first responders and hospitals — to taking care of infants, providing education to expectant mothers on how to breast feed and health inspections for restaurants.
Voters were asked to support the renewal of a tax for the benefit of the health department to maintain and staff the services and programs they currently provide.
Scenic Hills Senior Center — Another renewal levy on Tuesday’s ballot was the Scenic Hills Senior Center for the purpose of providing services to senior citizens.
This levy is a renewal of five cents for each $100 valuation for five years that was voted on in 1978 and will go toward services for the center.
One of the center’s biggest services utilized is the transportation that takes people 60 and over to and from their appointments for free. Without the passing of the levy the center would have to eliminate jobs such as the homemakers, transportation and Alzheimer’s respite.
The center is working on implementing a homemaker position that would be cross-trained to transport clients to and from places such as the grocery store to help them shop and complete other tasks.
Other proposed tax levy unofficial results include:
Benton Township, renewal for the purpose of fire protection.
For — 207; Against — 95
Green Township, renewal for the purpose of fire protection.
For — 767; Against — 298
Green Township, renewal for the purpose of general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of roads, culverts and bridges.
For — 789; Against — 281
Green Township, by Petition Local Liquor option, sale of wine and mixed beverages be permitted for sale on Sunday by Spireton Enterprises, LLC, dba Chieftain Convenience Store.
Yes — 334; No — 155
Laurel Township, renewal for the purpose of fire protection.
For — 358; Against — 123
Marion Township, renewal for the purpose of general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of roads and bridges.
For — 686; Against — 251
Perry Township, renewal for the purpose of fire protection.
For — 551; Against — 276
Salt Creek, additional tax for the purpose of district road improvement.
For — 222; Against — 177
Washington Township, renewal for the purpose of fire department operations.
For — 274; Against — 139
Murray City Village 1, renewal for the purpose of current expenses.
For — 73; Against — 31
Murray City Village 2, renewal for the purpose of current expenses.
For — 71; Against — 33
Buchtel Village, renewal for the purpose of current expenses.
For — 12; Against — 2
Good Hope Township, by Petition Local Liquor option, sale of wine and mixed beverages be permitted for sale on Sunday by Go Mart Inc. dba Go Mart.
For — 320; Against — 229