FAIRBORN — Fairborn City Council members voted to approve two property tax renewal levies to appear on the March ballot.
The levies were initially approved in 2012, but will see its time of usage run out next year, thus prompting city officials to place them on the March ballot in order to continue collecting the tax. Council approval, which was granted, was needed to to place the question on the ballot.
The two respective levies are used to support police and fire/EMS services.
“The reason we’re asking you to do it in March is because we’re very aware that the schools want to talk about new buildings in November,” Fairborn City Manager Deborah McDonnell said. “They are also asking for a renewal of one of its levy’s in March. We believe if we ask together to renew them, no new money, no new taxes, that it would be easy for our citizens to understand that and allow an open discussion about buildings and schools in November.”
The levies bring in just under $2 million per year and are worth 4.4 mill and make up 29 percent of the department’s individual budgets. If approved, the renewal levies, which are not asking for new money, would continue to be collected until 2021.
“It’s a hefty amount of money that we rely on in order to provide the services that we believe you all want for our citizens for both police and fire,” McDonnell said.
Council voted to approve a resolution that would allow the city’s engineering department to apply for grant funds that would be used to support two respective road projects, including Central Avenue resurfacing from Xenia Drive to Broad Street and improvements from East Doris Drive to East Dayton Yellow Springs Road.
The Central Avenue resurfacing project is targeted for fiscal year 2017, includes asphalt milling and resurfacing and is estimated to cost a total of $732,432 but Fairborn’s share would include $213,896 pending grant approval.
The East Doris Drive to East Dayton Yellow Springs improvements are targeted for funding in 2021, and includes pavement repairs, curb replacements and lane widening for the inclusion of bike lanes. The current estimate for the total cost of construction is more than $3.4 million, leaving Fairborn a price tag of $1.1 million if grant dollars are awarded.
“I think this is really important for our city,” Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said. “I’m the city’s rep for the [Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission] MVRPC, and bike lanes are big everywhere — everybody is putting in bike lanes. We recognize how important biking is for exercise, and it’s a part of being in your community. Anything we can do to make bike lanes an important and safe part of our community is really important. I’m very much in favor.”
Council additionally approved a resolution that would allow the establishment of a community redevelopment fund aimed to go toward the continued efforts in demolishing blighted buildings within the city.
It has taken down at least 70 of such structures since 2013, and seven more are currently targeted. Since beginning this project, multiple Habitat for Humanity homes have gone up in place of the blighted buildings.
“It’s a shame that federal funding is running [thin for this],” Kirkpatrick said. “We’ve seen significant improvements in the City of Fairborn with what’s happened so far. Habitat for Humanity homes have gone up, and those turned out to be beautiful homes. We can do something to continue that, this is really important.”
Council will hold a work session 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14. Its next council meeting will take place 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or via Twitter @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.