Bethel asks voters to renew levy

By Cecilia Fox -

BETHEL TWP. — When voters go to the polls on Nov. 7, Bethel Township residents will be asked to consider approving a renewal levy.

At a recent candidates night event, Township Administrator Andy Ehrhart explained the 3.8 mill renewal levy that will appear on the ballot.

“A renewal basically keeps your tax levy the same, no increase in millage,” he said. “That’s what this is, zero increase in taxes.”

The levy generates approximately $422,000 annually for the general fund. The funds raised have been used in the past for infrastructure projects, including sewer extensions and paving, Ehrhart said.

Some of those projects include the water line extension to Phoneton and the sewer line to Brandt, a sewer line to the schools, the paving of Brandt, and the new bathrooms at Friendship Park, Ehrhart said.

“Roughly, we’ve spent about $3.1 million over the course of this levy on infrastructure projects,” he said. “We’ve done that basically as an annexation fighting tool.”

When the Carriage Trails development started, the township did not have water or sewer available in that area, so it was annexed by Huber Heights.

“There’s no magic bullet. You can’t always stop annexation, but there’s less of a chance if we have basic services,” he added.

The township has four main levies including the one up for renewal in November, Ehrhart said. There are two fire levies and a police levy that provides for services from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

The township also receives some funds from the state’s license and gasoline taxes. Those levies and funds can only be used for specific purposes, he added.

The general fund levy on the ballot in November is the only one that can be spent flexibly, Ehrhart said.

“Once a fire levy, a police levy, a road levy, a specific service levy gets approved by the voters, it can only be spent on that service,” he said.

The levy was renewed in 2008 and 2013.

By Cecilia Fox

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