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City close to taking final steps for street levy


XENIA — City council July 12 is expected to begin the final process of placing a street levy on the November ballot.

City staff will ask council during its regular meeting to introduce a resolution to proceed with the 3.5 mill property tax levy, a resolution required by the Ohio Revised Code. If it is introduced, it could be voted on during the next council meeting and if approved by council, Xenia residents will decide on election day if they want to fund the major street project.

According to City Finance Director Ryan Duke, the 10-year levy is estimated to generate $1.3 million annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $10.21 a month. Funds generated could only be spent for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, or repair of city streets, roads and bridges.

The condition of the streets is well documented and is mostly due to decades of under-funding, according to city officials. Council promised in 2010 if an income tax increase was approved, at least $500,000 annually would be spent on roads. The city has met or exceeded that each year, but a harsh winter expedited the deterioration of many streets. The reduction of local government funds by the state has also left smaller cities like Xenia scrambling to find additional money.

The city organized a blue ribbon panel to evaluate the situation and after several meetings, recommended the city seek out all operational and capital funding sources to find additionally resources; pursue a proactive public outreach campaign to inform citizens about the challenge; and pursue a limited-term tax levy.

If the levy is placed on the ballot and approved by voters, enough money will be generated to rehab the streets.

By Scott Halasz

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Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.