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Commissioners working with state to help as Wells Township faces financial crisis

The Cardinal Plant in Wells Township is owned by Buckeye Power, which recently appealed its property tax rate.

The Cardinal Plant in Wells Township is owned by Buckeye Power, which recently appealed its property tax rate.

As it waits for a verdict from the state, tax money from the company will be substantially lower, leaving the township with a big financial burden.

While the appeal is still being heard, Buckeye Power is legally allowed to pay a lower amount.

In return, Wells Township will take a major hit, losing roughly $690,000, or essentially half the township’s annual budget.

"It’s our lifeline,” Wells Township Police Chief John Ingram said. “If it goes down or a decrease like this it's crucial. They’ve cut us before and we’ve kinda made it through those cuts, but this one is devastating."

Ingram said they’ve called state agencies and local politicians for help in the meantime.

Jefferson County commissioners are working with the state to help Wells Township.

"Our auditor’s office is working with the state. We're trying to make sure that if a cut happens, it's not a devastating cut,” Commissioner Tom Gentile said. “Of course we would like it to stay the same, but a lot of it is out of our hands and in the state’s hands."

"Some dramatic changes will be happening throughout the township,” Ingram said. “Every department is gonna get hit. Nobody’s safe. We’re just gonna try and get through this."

Ingram says despite the 3,000 calls the police receive a year, the township will no longer be able to staff a full-time department if this cut's approved, and everything from the road service to Buckeye Local Schools could take a life-changing hit.

Superintendent Kim Leonard says 50 percent of taxes paid by Buckeye Power go to the school.

Their plan is to meet with the Ohio Department of taxation and legal advisors to figure out where to go from here.

"A lot of decisions to be made, and they aren’t going to be pleasant ones," Ingram said.



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