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Election officials Becky Wiseman, right, and Camryn Zarnes, center, help sign in Kevin Roberts as he prepares to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at Ohio University Southern in Ironton.

IRONTON — The loss of a proposed Developmental Disabilities levy Tuesday night likely will mean a cut in services to some 500 Lawrence County residents with developmental disabilities in the weeks and months ahead.

A proposal for a countywide levy to seek an additional 2.5 mill for 10 years was rejected by a total of 6,950 to 6,596, according to unofficial totals from the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

“We will meet with our finance committee and the union on Thursday,” said Tim Nunnery, a spokesman for the county Developmental Disabilities board.

The board is planning a meeting for Friday, Nov. 8, to discuss how to proceed now that the levy has been defeated, Nunnery said.

“We do anticipate tightening our belts,” he said. “We anticipate every program and service to be affected.”

The levy would have produced $3 million in new revenue each year to provide services for some 500 county residents with developmental disabilities. The board already receives $2,345,671 per year through a continuing levy.

The board operates the Open Door School in Coal Grove and the Early Childhood Development Center in Sheridan. It also provides services to adults with developmental disabilities.

The tax would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $87.50 per year in taxes.

Meanwhile, Ironton voters rejected a proposal to increase the city’s income tax from 1% to 1.75%. The levy would have brought in $1.7 million per year for city services. It was rejected 2,172 to 701.

While rejecting calls for new taxes, voters approved several local fire levies and a current expenses levy in Athalia.

Voters in Athalia approved renewal of a two-mill levy for five years and a one-mill fire renewal levy, also for five years.

Chesapeake voters, meanwhile, approved renewal of a 1.5-mill fire levy for five years. Fire levies also were approved by voters in Lawrence Township and Union Township. Lawrence Township sought renewal of a one-mill fire levy for five years, while Upper Township voters approved a two-mill fire levy for five years.

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