Voters in Miami County reject issue for 18th time

Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 @ 9:23 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 07, 2018 @ 8:43 AM

            Miami County’s Board of Elections said heavy turnout delayed posting of results from Tuesday’s elections. STAFF PHOTO/BILL LACKEY
Miami County’s Board of Elections said heavy turnout delayed posting of results from Tuesday’s elections. STAFF PHOTO/BILL LACKEY

Voters in unincorporated Concord Twp. near Troy rejected for the 18th time the rezoning of the 50-acre Trafalgar property from agricultural to residential use, while Tipp City voters renewed the public library levy in Tuesday’s general election.

Unofficial election results were not available until early Wednesday due to technical problems with counting.

Dave Fisher, elections board chairman, said the problem forced election staff to enter votes by hand.

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He emphasized votes were being read accurately from voting machine cards but could not be transferred to the counting system because of database issues.

Fisher said cards from some 65 machines from one precinct each in Troy, Tipp City and Bethel Twp. were involved. The problem was found around 9:45 p.m. The final votes were distributed around 12:30 a.m.

The Trafalgar rezoning has been pursued by property owners the Geisinger family since 1995. The Miami County commissioners have approved the rezoning 18 times only to have residents living near the property file referendums on the decision.

The unofficial vote from the Miami County Board of Elections was 35 percent “yes,” or for the rezoning, and 65 percent “no,” or against the commissioners’ decision. The commissioners say there is no legal reason for them to deny the rezoning.

Mark Geisinger’s father, Bruce, pursued the rezoning for years. Following his death, the son has continued the effort yearly.

Trafalgar say water and sewer service is available to the property and plans for the land follow the county comprehensive plan. Opponents cite concerns about continued development, drainage and traffic. The opponents have promised to continue challenging rezonings of the property for residential use.

In other votes Tuesday, residents of Tipp City approved a renewal of a five-year, 0.75 mill operating levy. The levy generates $285,512 a year for the library, which has a $785,000 annual budget. The other sources of funding include money from the state general fund and grants, donations and endowments.

Unofficial results from the board of election showed 71.9 percent in favor of the renewal and 28.1 percent against.

“The library wants to say thank you to the voters of Tipp City. We are so excited to pass this levy. It shows a huge amount of support our downtown library has,” said Lisa Santucci, library director.

Money from the levy goes to the library operating budget for “everything,” including programs, salaries, books, utilities, computers and children’s technology, among other uses expenses. The levy costs the owner of a home with a $100,000 value $21.19 per year, according to the Miami County Auditor’s Office.

The unofficial turnout was around 40 percent. There were 651 provisional ballots voted Tuesday. Those ballots will be processed after seven days.

Among other issues decided by voters across Miami County were:

- West Milton 3.0-mill street levy for maintaining and improving storm sewers. The levy was approved by an unofficial vote of 60 percent in favor. Village Manager Matt Kline thanked voters for their continued support.

- Sunday sales for Miami Valley and Spirits, approved by 61 percent and Sunday sales for Dos Lunas, approved by 65 percent.