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Future of Brady Lake hinges on vote in November general election

by MIke Sever | reporter Published: July 10, 2013 12:00 AM

"Shall the Village of Brady Lake be dissolved?"

That's the question that will appear on the village's November ballot. The Portage County Board of Elections said petitioners had gathered enough valid signatures to put it on the ballot.

Petitioners want to see the village go back to being part of Franklin Township to cut taxes and improve services. If the village is disincorporated, the 1 percent income tax would end.

"It's going to happen," resident Dan Boyle said of the vote on whether Brady Lake should continue to exist as a village.

"It's just not fair to all the residents; it needs to stop," Boyle said of the village and its high tax rates for what Boyle says are inadequate services. Boyle spearheaded the petition drive.

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Boyle said village roads are "the worst in the county," and that the village has failed to repair the caved in lake overflow which has caused flooding and mold problems in lakeside homes.

"It's not fair when there's something so close that's so much better," he said, referring to Franklin Township which surrounds the village.

The village, which occupies one-third of a mile on the east bank of Lake Brady, has fewer than 500 residents in 226 housing units, according to the 2010 census. Its overall tax rate is also the highest in the county at $132.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Most of that ($102.73) goes to the Kent school district.

Bradley Cromes, deputy director of the county elections board, said they got the petitions from Brady Lake after they were filed with the village as required.

"They do have enough valid signatures to go on the ballot," Cromes said. Petitioners turned in 139 signatures and ended up with 122 valid ones after review by the elections board. They needed 75 to go on the ballot.

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The next step for Boyle and his supporters will be a campaign for the issue this fall.

"There are a number of people very upset about this and want [disincorporation] to happen," Boyle said.

While the ballot wording still has to be approved by the Ohio Secretary of State, Cromes said he believed it would be the same as on the petitions -- "Shall the village of Brady Lake be dissolved?"

Issue numbers will be assigned by the elections board later this year.

There could be a glitch in the group's wish to return to Franklin Township. A 1993 village ordinance and county commission resolution detached the village from the township and set up a new township of Brady Lake with a boundary coinciding with the village's.

Village officials say if the village is disincorporated it would become a separate township within Franklin Township.

Boyle said his legal counsel believes the village would just become part of Franklin Township.

"We're in uncharted territory here," he said. "Only a few townships have done this."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or msever@recordpub.com

Facebook: Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Twitter: @MikeSever RC

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