Nitro voters will decide Saturday whether to renew the city's municipal levy for the next five fiscal years, beginning July 1.The levy would generate $369,269 annually for the city for fiscal years 2015 through 2019 and will fund street maintenance, parks and recreation, firefighter and police wages, street lighting, the city library and fire hydrant rental.Versions of Nitro's municipal levy have been in effect since the 1930s.Early voting will continue at Nitro City Hall through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Polls will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the official election day. Residents will vote at their normal precinct voting locations.The rates for this election's levy are reduced from what voters approved in 2009, but are expected to generate close to the same amount of income as the previous version.The rate for Class II property, which includes residential property and farmland, will fall from the current 10.66 cents per $100 of assessed value to the new rate of 8.80 cents. The rate for Class IV property, which is all other real and personal property, will fall from the current 21.32 cents to the new 17.60 cents.Nitro's population increased by roughly 300 people between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, following annexations of residential and business properties in that decade. This levy election is the first since the 2010 Census.
"It does not raise taxes," Mayor Dave Casebolt said. "It's just a renewal of the same levy that's been in place."If the assessed value of property in Nitro would ever project the levy to exceed $369,269 annually, levy rates would be adjusted to avoid going over that amount. Council would also be forbidden from issuing bonds.The levy is specifically for the city, not the county, and will require a 60 percent approval to pass.Broken down, the levy is projected to generate the following:
$35,025.99 for street maintenance and repair$25,996.29 for parks and recreation$70,161.06 for firefighter wages
$41,689.93 for street lighting$136,629.38 for police wages$47,006.88 for the Nitro Public Library$12,759.47 for fire hydrant rental
Casebolt said the levy is important to the city's financial health."The city's in a great position to move forward," he said. "Failure of this levy would hurt us."
The mayor said he expects the levy to be approved, in part because of positive feedback he's heard from residents."We're getting a lot of favorable comments about the direction the city is heading," he said.Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Murphy@dailymailwv.com
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