By RYAN DUNN
KENTON — Library officials are asking voters in northern Hardin County to approve a levy May 6 that would fund additional hours of operation and new books.
The top priority is to expand hours at the Hardin Northern Public Library in Dunkirk, especially after being forced to close on Wednesdays due to budget cuts, said Rebecca Coker, library director.
“Our patrons weren’t happy, but they understood,” Coker said.
A library’s role has changed significantly in the past decade or so. It has expanded to serve as more of an information center, Coker said.
The Dunkirk library offers computer and fax use, book clubs and unemployment registration, said Fiscal Officer Kay Potter.
“We provide a lot of goods and services here,” Potter said.
The additional tax of one-half mill for five years would generate about $32,700 annually. It would cost $17.50 for a property with a $100,000 appraised value, according to the Hardin County Auditor’s Office.
The levy will be voted on in part of Dunkirk and Blanchard Township, part of Cessna Township, part of Forest and Jackson Township, and part of Pleasant and Washington townships.
Also on the ballot in part of Hardin County is a request to renew a 2.9-mill, five-year permanent improvement levy for Ada Schools, said district Treasurer Christy Beaschler.
The funds go toward long-term fixes such as technology improvements, she said.
“Technology is something that is ever-changing, so we want to stay up with that,” Beaschler said.
Those with a home appraised at $100,000 pay $89 per year, Beaschler said. Last year, the levy brought in about $252,000, she said.
Three countywide levies are also on the May ballot:
• The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties hopes to obtain an additional 1-mill tax for five years.
The owner of a home appraised at $100,000 would pay about $35 per year. The levy would bring in an estimated $3.2 million per year, according to the Allen County Auditor’s Office.
• A 0.35-mill, five-year levy is requested for the Ohio State University Extension. It would benefit 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Community Development.
This is a new levy. The old levy ends this year at .40 mill.
Should the new levy pass, the owner of a $100,000 property would pay $12.25 per year. The tax would generate roughly $186,800 annually, according to the Hardin County Auditor’s Office.
• The Hardin County Board of Developmental Disabilities is requesting the renewal of a 4-mill, five-year levy for services.
The levy generates about $1.8 million a year. The owner of a $100,000 property pays about $106 annually, according to the county auditor’s office.
In Hardin County candidates races, two Republicans are vying in the primary to be Hardin County commissioner. The position pays $40,888 per year.
Commissioner Brice Beaman, of 8315 Ohio 195, Alger, is being challenged by Brad Wingfield, 11660 Parklane Drive, Kenton.
Wingfield, 36, sells insurance for Wingfield Crop Insurance. This is his first time running for public office, he said.
Beaman, 60, is serving his first term as commissioner.
Previously, he was the fiscal officer for Marion Township, and served for 12 years on Upper Scioto Valley Board of Education. He is a former Marion Township trustee, Hardin County sheriff’s deputy, and fire chief for McGuffey.
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