The Brookfield trustees, particularly Trustee Mark Ferrara, drove the effort that led to a levy for road improvements being placed on the Nov. 8 ballot.
However, once the placement was official, Ohio law required that the trustees back away from supporting something they think is needed. That enforced neutrality is “bothersome,” Ferrara said.
“I would like to do more than that,” he said.
But he can’t, which leaves the promotion of the levy up to a committee.
Shannon Devitz heads that two-person committee.
“I love being a part of something that improves the community, and I feel like the passing of this levy would do so,” she said.
The 3.5-mill, continuous levy would be used to hire contractors to pave roads, as match money to secure grants for road paving, and to fund road maintenance projects, said Road Supt. Jaime Fredenburg.
The levy would raise about $490,000 a year, or enough to pave a little more than two of the 44 miles of township roads a year, Fredenburg said.
The trustees have approved a 20-year plan to use the levy proceeds to pave all township roads and improve unaccepted roads so that they will be accepted for township maintenance. The plan is available in the NEWS On the Green October issue or on our website, newsonthegreen.com
“As the years go by, our roads are getting worse and worse,” Devitz said. “In passing this levy we would ensure that our local tax dollars get put to work for us. If it passed, it would mean that our roads would be safer to travel on, it would save on vehicle repair costs, and I feel like our overall quality of life would improve. Even if you don’t live on a township road, I bet you frequently drive on them. The quality of our roads affect everyone. I just want to invest back into this beautiful community we live in.”
While the road department is funded by a number of sources – including a gas tax, road and bridge funds from the township’s inside millage and a motor vehicle license plate tax – paving projects have been funded by the township’s general fund. A levy for road paving would free up that $40,000 to $50,000 a year from the general fund for other township purposes, officials have said.
“We cannot continue on the path that we are now with our roads,” Ferrara said. “We have a very, very limited budget. We have barely enough to patch them. We have a very aggressive plan. I know three-and-half mills is a lot of money.”
“Drive around the community,” he said. “It will speak for itself.”