By Dustin Ensinger
After it passed by just 13 votes in 2010, the Village of Galena now looks to replace a crucial operating levy on May 6.
Village voters will be tasked with deciding the fate of a four-year, 2-mill operating levy. If approved, the levy will cost a property owner $70 per $100,000 of residential valuation and raise $37,903 for the village, both annually.
“Those are pretty critical operating funds for us,” said Administrator Jeanna Burrell. “We don’t have a parks levy or a street levy or anything like that.”
The current levy, which is still being collected through 2014 but expires on Dec. 31, costs homeowners $61.26 per $100,000 in valuation each year.
Burrell said the revenue stream has become all the more important in light of funding cuts from the state level.
If the levy does not pass, cuts will be necessary.
“We honestly haven’t talked about what we would cut,” Burrell said. “But if it doesn’t pass, obviously we’ll have to make some changes.”
Much of the revenue generated from the levy is used as matching funds for grants to improve the village, Burrell said.
“We’ve made really nice improvements to the parks system, playgrounds, trails, reconstructing Walnut Street with OPWC grants and loans,” she said. “We work pretty hard at getting grant money but all of that requires us to have some kind of a match.”
Burrell said she believes the village has financially responsible over the years.
“I do believe that the village is a good steward with the taxpayer dollars that we get and we work really hard to improve the community and make it a great place to live,” she said.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-363-1161 ext. 344 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.