We attending last night’s meeting (June 19th) held by the Concord trustees.
Overall, it sounded like the Trustees and the Administrator have heard the residents’ concerns and are reviewing alternatives to the original plans for the combined Administration building and two new fire stations.
They have removed the new Administration building portion of the project and are trying to reduce the size of the new fire stations. It appears that they still want to replace both buildings. To ensure that residents will still have adequate fire and EMT services, they plan to build one station at a time.
It is difficult to get a handle on the overall costs because the Trustees and Administrator are staying a million miles away from that issue for now. Rather than guessing, it is probably more prudent to wait for their final plan and then zero in on the cost, and how they expect us to pay for it.
There was a resolution passed last night looking into the cost and feasibility of a bond levy to fund the new fire stations. There are some additional administrative costs to go this route, but no figures were given.
The Trustees also passed resolutions asking the Lake County Auditor to determine the estimated revenue that would be collected if a .9 mill, 1.0 mill or a 1.1 mill continuous levy is passed by the voters. Mr. Malchesky spent a good deal of time explaining the need for a continuous levy. He stated that the only options they have are a 5 year or continuous levy. He did express hope that the State would give townships more flexibility in the future concerning the length of time on a levy.
A fixed 5 year levy is not being considered because the millage to be collected to fund this project would be unacceptable to the voters, and presumably also to the Trustees. The Township’s legal counsel is going to look at the Ohio Revised Code to see if a continuous levy can be automatically stopped once the building costs are “paid in full”.
There is no doubt the Trustees have heard the voters’ concern on “continuous levies”.
They did express several times that they welcome any Concord resident to call them or meet with them to discuss the fire station issue or any other projects.
However, this is far from over……and they will have to move quickly to get this on the November ballot…
(LFC Comments: Sorry Mr. Malchesky, but you will always be “Mr. Continuous” to LFC because of your past support of the Morley Library’s and the Concord’s fire and road continuous levies. It is difficult to forgive those decisions when you know that they were not in the best interests of the taxpayers. They only helped the bureaucrats ensure that they did not have to be responsive to the taxpayers.
While we are ranting, why do we keep using Chicago architects for Concord projects? We used a Chicago firm for the proposed Town Center project, and now one for the fire stations – paying them millions! Is Lake County and Ohio devoid of qualified firms? We believe in spending our money as local as possible.
In this writer’s opinion, by far the most poignant testimony last night was from a senior Concord resident. She moved out of Geauga County to get away from their high property taxes and into Concord. With the ever increasing property taxes in Concord, she is now forced, at her advanced age, to find a job just to pay her property taxes, or she will be forced to move. For quite some time, LFC has been saying this will continue to happen to many seniors and those living on fixed incomes all over Lake County. The dream of home ownership is just an illusion because of the onerous property taxes!
To be fair, the increasing property taxes are not just the fault of the Concord trustees. The financing of the public schools is unsustainable, and the various county political sub-divisions and “non-profits” continue to grow, and grow, and grow.
Where can the taxpayers go to complain about property taxes? Yes, we may gripe to the Auditor’s office about our home valuation, but what about all the political sub-divisions, and “non-profits” that are sucking out the life-blood of the community? Building their bank accounts, while they are draining the bank accounts of the citizens.
Forget about your State or Federal representatives, regardless of party, they cannot, or will not help us.
How about our County government helping to downsize government, help with unsustainable school funding……lol…dream on….no help there…
What about getting the State representatives help on school funding? Been there, done that…..supposedly had brand new, and better funding in the works….it failed because of lack of support. However, the State Board of Education can find more money for their new Social, Emotional Learning Standards program that will further indoctrinate your children with the State’s values and not your family’s values.
The only real platform for the average citizen to voice their complaints is at their local city, village or township meetings. And, there is really nothing significant they can do to help, since they get a lesser percentage of the property tax revenue (17% in Concord Township, schools get ~70%).
Citizens of Lake County, we are convinced that your only resolution to the problem of ever increasing property taxes is voting NO on all future levies. AND WE MEAN ALL LEVIES!
Remember your Housing Affordability Threshold. If you spend 30% or more of your annual income on your mortgage, utilities and property taxes then your house is deemed un-affordable for you.
Why are you willingly pricing yourself out of your home? Self-eviction makes no sense to us.