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MACEDONIA By a more than 2 to 1 margin, city voters have decided roads and the rec center deserved taxpayers' support.
According to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, Issue 3 received 2,115 votes (69.53) for and 927 votes (30.47) against the 0.5 percent income tax increase. The revenue will be used for general improvements, capital improvements, maintenance, current operating expenses, road improvements, and the city parks and recreation center.
The measure will bring the city an estimated $2 million per year, according to city estimates, and would make up for a 20-year-old tax that is set to expire next month.
The city's tax rate is presently 2 percent, but a 0.25 percent income tax approved 20 years ago to pay for the recreation center and city operations is expiring in June. Issue 3 sets the tax rate at 2.25 percent, but residents would continue to pay Macedonia 2 percent. Non-residents who work in the city would pay the full 2.25 percent rate.
Mayor Joe Migliorini said he is very happy the issue passed.
"The people saw there was a need and they weren't going to be affected by this proposal," he said.
Migliorini said the first thing he will do is have City Engineer Joe Gigliotti prepare the specifications for approximately $12 million in roads. The mayor has stated he will use the incoming tax funds earmarked for roads by getting bonds to complete work as soon as possible.
"We will get those started as soon as we possibly can," he said.
In addition to the road work, Migliorini said without money to subsidize the operation of the Macedonia Family Recreation Center, the facility would have been forced to close within 18 months when its fund runs dry.
The facility's operation had been subsidized each year with $350,000 to $400,000 from the expiring 0.25 percent income tax, which had also financed the building's construction.
The News Leader was hard pressed to find voters who were against the measure among the those at the polls earlier today.
As she was heading in to cast her ballot, Faith DiPippo said she was in favor of the issue.
"We have needed it for a while," she said. "If we don't, who will want to live in our city? We have to keep up our community."
Another voter, John Walsh, said he voted for the measure because he too felt the tax was "overdue and a good way to address it."
Poll workers from all precincts in the city said they were surprised to have seen as many voters as they did for only having one issue on the ballot.