CADIZ - Funds from the past year's timber harvest at Harrison State Forest were presented to the county during Wednesday's Harrison County commissioners' meeting.
Gregg Maxfield, district forester for the forestry division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, presented commissioners a check for $45,226 as its portion of funds generated from the harvesting of timber during the past year at the 1,345-acre state forest in Nottingham Township.
Maxfield told commissioners and that the county and township would receive $11,306.58 and Dana L. Snider, Superintendent of the Harrison Hills Local School District who was present, learned that her district would be presented with $22,613.15 or 50 percent of the timber harvest share.
Meanwhile, Harrison County Auditor Patrick Moore reminded the Harrison County commissioners that there were important levies on the Nov. 5 ballot. There are three county-wide levies. The county's emergency management agency and 911 center are asking for the approval of a 0.75-mill, 5-year levy for the purposes of upgrading and enhancing the current system of emergency response communication. In addition, there is a 0.5-mill, 5-year renewal levy for Children's Services, a 1-mill, 5-year renewal levy for the Board of Development Disabilities, a 0.75-mill, 5-year renewal levy for the Harrison County Council on Aging for providing senior services to county residents and a renewal for the Sheriff. Moore asked voters to support these levies, adding that the passage of renewal levies will not increase the taxes in the county.
Moore added that the library levy will only affect the Harrison City School District and not residents in the Buckeye Local or Edison districts. The library levy is also a renewal which Moore explained would not increase taxes.
Moore stated that voters in the county could save money by not voting for the three replacement levies. Two of the levies are in the Cadiz Township and one is in Franklin Township, all of which are cemetery levies. The auditor explained that a 12.5 percent state fee would be tacked on to the levies this year, but if they fail and are placed back on the ballot for 2014, the townships would not lose a dime but rather the additional 12.5 percent would be dropped when the levy returned on the ballot in 2014.
"The state would subsidize the 12.5 percent if the levy fails this November, but if it is passed, the citizens would subsidize the percentage," Moore said, adding that it may all seem a bit confusing to voters. "That only applies to these three specific replacement levies. The renewal levies are not going to cost the taxpayers any additional money, and I want to make that point clear."
"The legislature did not pass this until late July, and if they had known, they would have put this on as a renewal," Moore explained. "The auditor's office gets the blame for the increase in taxes and the 12.5 percent increase will be significant for tax payers in these two townships if the levies pass this fall as replacements."
"I am not against these levies," Moore clarified. "They will just cost a lot more money if they pass them as replacements."
Rhonda Zimmerman stopped in to voice her support for the Harrison Community Hospital EMT service.
"It is very close to me. It is very important to me because I recently had an incident in where they saved my child's life, Had it not been for the EMT, my son would not be here today. I just do not want anyone else to have to go through any of this. I just don't think the volunteers are enough," Zimmerman added. "I think we need our hospital EMTs to help keep us all safe and keep us all from having to suffer."
"We have a subcommittee that is working on that and is bringing in recommendations on Nov. 6 to the county EMT meeting towards making sure that the county is protected in an acceptable manner," commission chair Don Bethel responded. "I think the EMTs understand that they are going to need some type of additional help from someone, whether that is the hospital or that is another party."
"Patient care is of the upmost importance," Doug Crabtree, president of Harrison County's EMS Association interjected.
The next county EMS meeting will be on Nov. 6 in Piedmont at the fire house starting at 7 p.m.
In other business: The board passed the following RUMAs: 72-13 with Chesapeake for 2,4 mi. of CR 4. 73-13 with Chesapeake for .8 mi. of CR 25 and 1.3 mi. of CR 3. 74-13 with Chesapeake for .8 mi. of CR 25 and .6 mi. or CR 43, 75-13 with Chesapeake for 4.7 mi. of CR 4 and 76-13 with Hess for .3 mi. of CR 11.
Palmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org