Nitro voters reapprove municipal levy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nitro voters overwhelmingly reapproved the city's municipal levy during a special election Saturday, March 8, and the city's mayor said the levy's passage will allow the city to proceed with several "bigger projects" that will be revealed to the public soon.City Recorder Rita Cox said preliminary totals show 230 voters were for the levy, while 44 were against.The levy required at 60 percent affirmative vote to pass.Voter turnout was about 5.8 percent, and Cox said the two precincts in Putnam County had higher turnout than she expected.There are 4,695 voters in Nitro. Of those, 3,932 live in Kanawha County and 763 live in Putnam County."We're very pleased with the results," Mayor Dave Casebolt said.Casebolt said he plans to reveal several project proposals to city council and the public at upcoming council meetings. The public will have the opportunity to comment and provide input for the projects, he said.Casebolt has mentioned the projects at recent council meetings, but hasn't yet revealed any details.The levy approved Saturday will take effect July 1 and will be in place for the next five fiscal years, from FY 2015 through FY 2019.
Each year, the levy is projected to generate $369,269 annually for the city. It 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.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.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 is also now forbidden from issuing bonds.
The levy is specifically for the city, not the county.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, and
  • $12,759.47 for fire hydrant rental.
Nitro's city council will sit as the canvassing board to certify the election on Friday.
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