By JIM MAURER
McComb officials on Tuesday lobbied the Hancock County commissioners to change the boundary lines of the village and Pleasant Township, so there is no overlap.
McComb Mayor Chuck Latta, village Solicitor Rob Feighner Jr., and village Councilman Robin Rader, who has spearheaded the effort, met with Hancock County Commissioners Tim Bechtol and Mark Gazarek.
The village originally made the request via letter in June, citing three reasons:
- Overlapping boundaries and an overlapping governmental structure do not utilize tax dollars efficiently.
- Village residents pay real estate taxes to the township, but receive no services from the township.
- Pleasant Township trustees represent rural residents, while McComb Council represents village residents.
Gazarek said before taking any action, the commissioners would want to make sure that all consequences have been considered.
The commissioners want to know how the area fire district will operate if the separation is approved, Bechtol said.
The fire district includes Pleasant and Portage townships and the village of McComb. The equipment is housed in a building located in the village.
The fire equipment is owned by the fire district and the building is owned by McComb, Rader said.
Latta said the fire district is now self-funded by a 2-mill levy approved by voters last year and effective this year. Previously, the village and townships funded the fire district with general fund money.
He said the five-year levy generates about $190,000 to $200,000 annually.
“So, as far as the village is concerned, we’re out (of funding the fire district),” he said. “We’re not contributing from the general fund.”
The Pleasant, McComb and Portage Emergency Medical Service is a separate district, Rader said.
Feighner said the emergency medical service would not be affected by a separation of the village and township.
“We have a responsibility to our residents,” Latta said. “When you look at it, we’re being taxed, what are we getting for our tax dollars (from Pleasant Township)? I can’t see where (the township is) providing any benefit to the village. We’re a self-funded village. We do our own (street) plowing, whatever it takes, we do our own repairs. The tax dollars are going to Pleasant Township for what? They plow their (roads) so we can drive on them, but we plow ours so they can, too. That’s the big question, what are we getting for our tax dollars? We don’t get a bill from Pleasant Township for anything.”
“I’m being taxed without representation,” Rader said.
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