Mental Health Levy approved by voters

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It was close, but the results of Tuesday’s election means the Union County Mental Health and Recovery Board (MHRB) will have some new money to work with.
Residents voted 5,662 to 4,837 to pass a tax levy increase that will bump the levy up from .5 mils to .8 mils, the first new money for the MHRB since 1977.
In an interview with the Journal-Tribune after the election, MHRB Executive Director Phil Atkins said he was pleased with the results.
“We are very grateful to the community for supporting us last night,” he said.
He said the MHRB staff invested a lot of emotional energy into the levy campaign. He said the new money will let the board “support the community in a more comprehensive way.”
Officials say the new money will cost the owner of a $100,000 home less than $24 per year. The board will begin collecting the new money in 2019.
Last month, Atkins said the increased funds would allow them to “make sure we have access to good treatment for people who went to turn their lives around.” He said that includes “sober living” centers to house those trying to get clean. He also said he’d like to expand resources for children with mental health problems.
This morning he said in the next year the MHRB will begin planning specific ways it can use this new money.
Atkins said he wasn’t surprised that small margin by which the levy passed. He said he thought it was a good showing of support, considering they were asking for a tax increase.
He thanked his staff for their work, as well as Richwood Bank President Chad Hoffman for his help during the race.
“They really put it in high gear,” Atkins said.
Mental health wasn’t the only issue on the ballot Tuesday. Many other local municipalities saw their issues sale through the election.
Union County residents voted 7,347 to 3,237 to renew a .25 sales tax split evenly between senior services and the county road and bridge fund.
Marysville voters passed three out of four charter amendments brought before voters. Voters struck down 1,610 to 1,402 an amendment to allow the city manager, rather than council, to create departments and divisions in the city. An amendment adding a third member to the board of control passed 2,033 to 979; a change that will have elected officials set their salaries before, rather than after, an election passed 1,586 to 1,405; and another change that will allow the city manager to give the State of the City address in the first quarter of the year, rather than the first council meeting, passed 2,345 to 694.
The Leesburg Township Fire levy passed 228 to 51, Millcreek Township’s Fire and EMS levy passed 264 to 110 and the Paris Township Fire levy passed 311 to 101.
Union Township’s cemetery levy passed 296 to 170, while York Township’s passed 157 to 112.
The Richwood/North Union Public Library’s levy passed 1,015 to 485. Tri-Rivers Career Center saw its levy pass 908 to 597.
Every liquor option brought before voters passed. The Wild Ginger Bistro’s two options passed 96 to 43 and 86 to 54 for Jerome Precinct 2. Winsong’s Chinese Restaurant’s passed 171 to 60 for Marysville Precinct 7 and Dalton Union Winery’s passed 155 to 88 for Liberty Precinct 2.



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