Mixed reaction after Xenia road improvements levy fails

Local News

Xenia city leaders are looking at other ways to fund road repairs after a levy failed on Election Day.

The 3.5-mill levy, which would have generated about $1.3 million annually for street improvements, failed after more than half of voters were against it.

Many people who spoke with 2 NEWS agree that several roads in Xenia need to be repaired.

“To be truthful with you, they are terrible,” said Haashim El-Amin, Xenia resident.

“There are some roads that it’s like trying to avoid land mines,” said Shane Caldwell, who also lives in Xenia.

But residents disagree on how to pay for the road repairs.

“I would rather pay a little extra taxes than to replace tires all the time,” said Steve Short, who voted in favor of the levy.

Short said he believes it would have been worth the cost to taxpayers.

“It’s a little disappointing just because riding around potholes and things like that is not good on your vehicle,” he said of the levy’s failure.

But not everyone was sold on the idea. Caldwell was among the majority who voted against the levy.

“One of the main roads, Colorado [Drive], a lot of people travel on, was really, really bad, and just they kind of patched part of it; part of it got fully paved,” he said.

Caldwell said he wasn’t confident the city would use the funding from the levy to make long-lasting road repairs.

“I feel like they could pull the funds from somewhere else, make cuts elsewhere,” Caldwell said.

Brent Merriman, Xenia city manager, said he understands the voters’ decision, adding that the city will do its best to repair roads with available funding.

Merriman said in a statement, in part: “Our community will have to continue to search for creative ways to maximize the current resources available to us to address streets. There are many competing demands for the limited local resources we have…and not all needs can be met.”

Xenia currently spends about $500,000 annually on road maintenance, according to city officials.

There’s no word yet on whether the city will try to get another road levy passed in the future.

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