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Bethel Twp. aggregation issues approved

Voters in Bethel Twp. approved ballot issues to aggregate electric and natural gas purchasing, according to final, unofficial election results Tuesday.

Bethel Twp., officials asked voters to approve the two resolutions.

The goal of the proposals was to allow the township to purchase utilities as a large buying pool at a discounted rate. Trustees have said electric aggregation alone could save each household about $150 a year. The township could save as much as $500,000 if the issues are approved, said Nancy Brown, Bethel Twp. trustee. Residents who did not want to participate would have the option to opt out at any time at no cost.

“I’m excited we’ll be able to do this,” Brown said. “It’s in the best interest of the citizens or we wouldn’t have put it there.

Under the aggregation, customers will still receive a bill from their current natural gas company. State law allows for communities to form aggregated buying groups on behalf of residents. The government aggregator chooses an outside supplier for all the customers in its group.

“It’s a big savings and it keeps money in the local economy,” Brown said.

Brown said the issue was confusing to many voters, but once local officials explained how the process works, most voters she spoke to were in favor of the two ballot issues.

A separate proposed road levy in Pike Twp. failed Tuesday. Pike Twp. officials could not be reached for comment.

Pike Twp., trustees asked voters to approve a new five-year, 1.5-mill property tax levy that would be used for road repairs and equipment.

For the owner of a $100,000 home, the annual cost was expected to be about $53. Some of the roads most in need of repairs, according to twp. officials, include Stott Road between North Hampton Road and Dialton Road and between Ansbaugh Road and Ohio 235, Short Road and Studebaker Road.

The repairs would have included paving, levelling and widening the roads.

The tax levy would have affected all Pike Twp. residents, excluding the village of North Hampton.

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