Clerk Will Wait For Benwood Bus Vote

BENWOOD – Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca said the Marshall County Clerk’s office is aware City Council plans to take a late vote Tuesday to place a bus tax levy on the May primary ballot.

During council’s regular meeting this week, members decided to hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday – the filing deadline for the levy – to approve placing a one-year bus tax levy on the ballot.

Kuca said Wednesday, however, after talking with City Clerk Judy Hunt, the ballot language already has been prepared and sent to the County Clerk’s Office.

“We already did the language, now we just wait on the vote,” Hunt said.

Winnie Reilly, county chief deputy clerk, also said all that is required is a call from the city after the vote so the ballot can be sent to the printer.

“Everything is fine. We discussed it – there is no problem,” Reilly said.

Council had some mixed feelings about whether to allow city residents to vote on renewing a levy. Some were angry about the Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority’s decision to allow The Highlands trial route and a Glen Dale-Moundsville route. To fund those trial routes, service was reduced from every 30 minutes to once an hour on some existing routes, including Benwood’s.

Now council members want to do their own trial of sorts by allowing residents to vote on a one-year levy instead of the regular three-year levy. Before a vote can be taken Tuesday, a quorum of voting members – at least five of eight – is necessary. Mayor Ed Kuca only votes to break ties. During this week’s meeting, John Kazemka, Lori Longwell, Bob Rose and Chuck Terry – approved the first reading of an ordinance to place the levy on the ballot. Member Walter Yates voted against it. And three council members – Larry Ferrera III, Curtis Mele and Jackie Olson – were not present to vote.

Staff Writer Zach Macormac contributed to this report.