Flood-control sales tax pulled from November ballot

A sales tax, meant to provide continued revenue for flood-reduction efforts in Findlay and Hancock County, was pulled from the Nov. 7 ballot during a special meeting of the Hancock County commissioners on Friday.
Commissioners Brian Robertson and Tim Bechtol voted 2-0, with commissioner President Mark Gazarek absent, to rescind an August resolution to submit the 0.25 percent, 10-year sales tax issue to the Hancock County elections board for voter consideration.
A second resolution, which designated revenue from the sales tax for flood reduction, also was rescinded by the same 2-0 vote.
The tax has been in effect since 2008. It will expire at year-end 2018 unless renewed.
Representataives of two groups, Blanchard River Watershed Solutions, which includes business, government and professionals, and Hancock United for a Better Blanchard, which includes mainly rural residents, have been lobbying the commissioners to pull the tax issue off the ballot until future flood-reduction plans are finalized and are supported by both city and rural residents.
Plans to widen the Blanchard River through Findlay are proceeding and that work is expected to begin next year.
But an engineering firm’s proposal to build floodwater storage basins in southern Hancock County is opposed by rural residents. Constructing the basins could cost $140 million.

Courier reporter Jim Maurer will have more on Saturday.





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