Board of DD levy among those on ballot

Staff Report

The May 2 special election is less than one week away. Although there will be no candidates on the ballot, there are several issues that will be decided in Fulton County.

There will be one countywide issue on the ballot. The Fulton County Board of Developmental Disabilities will seek a 2-mill renewal and 0.6-mill increase for services and facilities for five years.

According to Beth Friess, the board’s superintendent, an increase is necessary to cover the modern costs of key services to the community.

“We have not asked for additional dollars in over 10 years, however, the cost to support individuals continues to increase. Over the past couple of years, we have put cost cutting measures in place including eliminating positions and sharing services with other counties. We believe that this increase is important for us to continue to provide quality support for approximately 300 individuals with developmental disabilities who live in Fulton County,” she said.

Services provided by the board include home-based Early Interventions to families of 0-3 year olds with developmental delays, autism services through the PLAY Project, and case management services to individuals starting at age three and throughout their lifetime.

The board also provides funding to the Fulton County Special Olympics, vocational and habilitation services, supported employment and transportation, and residential services for adults who live in homes in the community but cannot live on their own without needed assistance.

“Fulton County has been very supportive of the Board of DD. We enjoy cooperative relationships with many county and community partners. Employers are currently supporting 36 individuals with developmental disabilities in jobs in the community. Residents have helped individuals to be full participating members of their communities,” Friess said.

Voters in Delta will decide on a trio of renewal levies. There will be two 5-year, 0.5-mill renewals for fire protection.

There will also be a 5-year, 5-mill renewal levy for police protection decided on by voters.

For voters in the Swanton area, there will be two issues on the ballot on May 2. Village residents will decide whether to increase the village income tax from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent.

“As an elected official, I want to maintain the level of services our community has come to expect and move forward as a village,” said Swanton Councilman Michael Rochelle. “We all have experienced costs that have increased since 1989 and it becomes necessary to increase funding for the village too.”

Voters in the entire Swanton school district will see a 5-year, 4.45-mill renewal levy for emergency requirements. The levy raises a fixed amount of $825,000 each year. It is not a new tax.

Clinton Township voters will decide on a 5-year, 0.5-mill renewal levy for Wauseon Union Cemetery. In German Township, voters are asked to approve a 5-year, 0.5-mill renewal levy for fire protection.

The Chesterfield Township 5-year, 0.7-mill replacement levy for fire and EMS protection was withdrawn from the ballot in February.

Early in-person voting at 135 Courthouse Plaza in Wauseon continues Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Staff Report