McComb seeks separation from township

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

The Hancock County commissioners have received a request to separate McComb from Pleasant Township.

Properties have been annexed to the village in the past, but those properties continue to pay real estate taxes to the township. The goal of the request is to make the township lines identical to the village limits.

Clerk Sara Mutchler said Tuesday the commissioners’ office is looking into the request and no action is necessary now.

In a letter to the commissioners signed by McComb Mayor Charles Latta and members of Village Council, the elected officials said they have determined that “it is in the best interests of the residents of the village” if the village limits and the township lines do not overlap.

There are three primary reasons for the request, according to the letter:

“Our governments must adapt to changing conditions in order to effectively serve our constituents and to wisely expend the tax dollars contributed by the individuals and institutions of the community.” Overlapping boundaries cause “an overlapping governmental structure that historically does not allow for efficient use of time or resources, thus wasting taxpayers’ money.”

“Historically it has been shown that Pleasant Township trustees take action to represent the concerns of rural residents while the village makes decisions addressing the needs of those in the village. The 2010 census reflects that the population of the village is double that of the unincorporated residents of Pleasant Township (1,648 to 823).

“We are quite aware that other villages in Hancock County pay taxes to their respective townships, however, those villages are receiving services for their tax dollars, i.e. snow removal, street repair, road salt, and other items of maintenance. Quite simply, residents of the Village of McComb pay real estate tax dollars to Pleasant Township without services in return. As representatives of the village, we can find no productive benefit of being part of Pleasant Township.”

The letter concludes that “the approval of the conformity petition by the county commissioners is the only responsible thing to do. Pleasant Township is already operating apart from the village in almost every way, and simply granting the village’s petition simply memorializes this reality.”

Village Council approved an ordinance in May to petition the commissioners for the change.

Separately Tuesday, the commissioners appointed Kraig Kutschbach to the Blanchard Valley Port Authority board.

The commissioners also approved an appropriation of $13,750 for the county Bureau of Motor Vehicles office for replacement of the air conditioner in the building on Hancock County 140.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requested a possible lease change, effective Aug. 1, for space that federal agencies occupy in the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center on Hancock County 140.

Separately, a closed executive session to discuss personnel discipline was held. No action was taken.

During a separate meeting Tuesday afternoon, the commissioners discussed the potential purchase of a “roll-off” truck for bringing recycling bins to Litter Landing, and a separate truck for the landfill. Funds from the landfill would pay for the purchases.

A truck used at Litter Landing has to be replaced after it was damaged by fire recently.

Don Moses, landfill manager, said he would check with several local companies about a state purchasing program which allows the county to purchase equipment and vehicles at a state bid price, which is usually lower.

The landfill truck would be purchased closer to year-end, he said.

The commissioners agreed that buying locally is preferred.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

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