The Athens County Children Services, or ACCS, levy that pays for childcare and child support services passed Tuesday with about 64% of the vote.
The levy both replaced the existing tax allocated to the children services and added an extra $500,000.
The existing levy was passed in 2000 and has not been updated until now, according to ACCS. The funds, however, will go to support children in foster care within Athens County.
“So, this is actually an existing levy ... so this year it's a replacement with an increase,” Robin Webb, a representative from Athens County Children Services, said.
Children Services operates off another levy, which was renewed in 2015 and results in roughly $2.28 million for the organization. These levies make up the majority of children services funding, but the services are also funded by the federal government, state and external funding sources.
This levy would cost a homeowner of a $100,000 home $87.5 per year, according to an ACSS news release.
ACCS said that despite the increase in funding, Ohio remains the lowest-ranked state in terms of child protective services.
“I work with kids, so I feel very passionate about their care,” Abby Karagory, a sophomore studying early childhood education, said.
Erin Hogan, a New Marshfield resident, thought it was a good cause to support.
“I just think it’s something that we need,” Jennifer Adams, a Nelsonville resident who worked the polls, said.
The majority of candidates were in support of nearly all of the levies.
“I personally supported all the levies on the ballot,” Councilwoman Sarah Grace D-At Large said. “These provide really, really significant and important services for our county.”
Grace said that because they were renewals, she expects to see them come up on the ballot again in the future.
“I’m really proud of the Athens community for supporting the childcare levy renewal,” newly elected Councilwoman Beth Clodfelter, D-At Large, said. “I think it is wonderful that people are willing to share a little bit of their money to help children in need and to help the people who work so tirelessly to try to help those kids.”
Clodfelter was in strong support for the levy renewal and increase.
“We’ll be a far better community and county in the future if every kid gets treated well and has a good chance to have a good future,” she said.