The replacement levy for the Athens City-County Health Department passed by just over 4,000 votes.
The 0.4-mill replacement levy supports all of the general activities that the health department offers. About 67.51% of residents voted for the tax levy.
The levy will continue to help fund the health department’s wide variety of services including vital statistics. This includes birth and death certificates; environmental health services, which include restaurant inspections; water sample inspections; a rabies control program; a public health nursing program that offers numerous different immunizations and a program that provides cribs for children in need is also supported by the levy.
The levy will allow the department to continue to support all of the programs that the health department offers for the residents of Athens County, James Gaskell, Athens City-County health commissioner said.
William Fowler, an Athens County resident said he voted for the levy.
“I basically voted progressive on everything,” Fowler said. “People need help from the health department and everyone needs funding, so stuff like that’s important to me and other residents.”
Leeanna Botts, another Athens County resident said she voted against the levy. Botts said she voted against the levy because she hadn’t received an increase in a while.
“If I had more money I wouldn’t mind voting yes, but this was a financial decision for me,” Botts said.
Mayor Steve Patterson said the levy was really important for the department.
“They’re doing really great work at the health department,” Patterson said. “In rural Ohio, illegal dumping has become a big problem, people think they can just dump old tires and such which becomes a big problem and can harm people. That’s a reason our health department is important.”
He also said that he and his wife take their daughters to the health department to get their flu shots.
“It’s really important to continue to make sure we’re investing in our county health department,” Patterson said.