The Lima News sent questionnaires to representatives for every issue on the ballot in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Representatives had the opportunity to discuss the major issues with their issue. Only basic information from the board of elections identifies organizations that did not return a questionnaire yet. We continue to receive more questionnaires every day, so check back here soon to see the latest submitted answers.
Levy sought: 2 mill renewal tax levy for five years
Purpose: Operation of the Shawnee Township Police Department
How much will it raise per year for your organization? Approximately $453,000 a year
Cost of the levy to taxpayers: $30.63 per year for a $50,000 house, $61.25 for $100,000 house
Why does your organization need the levy? Prior to 2005, the first year of this levy, the Shawnee Township Police Department had been operating with the same funding since 1988. When the levy passed, we were able to reach 1999 staffing levels.
Some notable accomplishments since 2005: With assistance from Shawnee and Apollo schools, we have two instructors trained in Active Shooter Response and two Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate instructors. We train all officers every year and offer training to other agencies. We have a certified voice stress analysis, truth verification instrument with two certified operators. Our detectives have had interview and evidence collection training. We recently obtained a forensic computer in partnership with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. We have a full-time officer assigned to the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force. So far, we have received 605 hours of training in 2010.
The construction of the police garage in 2008 saved approximately 385 gallons of fuel in the first winter. Additional staffing has resulted in reduction of overtime costs.
Starting in 2011, the state will cut distribution of funds to local taxing units by 1/7 per year for 7 years. This equals $290,555.00 for our department.
Please visit the Allen County Auditor’s website, www.co.allen.oh.us/auditor, to view the “Property Tax Calculator.” You will see that there is no increase in taxes as a result of this levy.
What will happen if the levy fails? Since up to 75 percent of our income ($1,241,300 in 2010) is used on personnel costs, the loss of $453,000 would impact staffing. If you consider the additional loss of $290,555.99 in state funding, in increments of one-seventh per year for seven years, it is 60 percent of our income ($743,555). Equipment and staffing would be cut extensively. Training would be one of the first cuts, then vehicles and equipment replacement and/or repair. After that, personnel would be cut, which would lead to a reduction of services.
Submitted by Michael Keith, police chief