Danbury to juggle police levies

Feb 26, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Danbury Township trustees are all in agreement. The township police department is doing a great job, report the trustees, and a 2 mill police levy on the March 17 ballot needs be approved to keep the department running smoothly.

“The last levy passed to keep the police department up and running was in 2006,” said Trustee Dianne Rozak. “It was projected the levy would last 10 years. Through careful spending, the township has managed to make it last 13 years, and now the cupboard is bare.”

There will actually be a juggling of levies at the ballot box.

If passed, the 2 mill levy will generate about $700,000 per year. It would replace the 1 mill police levy passed in 1984, and the 1.5 mill police levy from 1994. The 1 mill levy from 1999 and the 1.5 mill levy from 2006 would continue.

If the levy passes, Chief Michael Meisler said the department would not hire additional officers. It would not purchase new police cars, or add to its headquarters at 419 Bridge Road.

“We’ll maintain our eight full-time police officers, and Kalahan, the yellow Labrador retriever who has been an outstanding narcotics detection dog,” said Meisler.

“We usually replace at least one vehicle each year, because of the 125,000 miles we put on each one every year. Fortunately, our fleet is in decent shape and we won’t need a replacement vehicle in 2020.”

The police station was built in 2011 and is in excellent condition, said Meisler, but the computer system needs to be upgraded, as most systems do after only a few years. The surveillance system had been replaced through a donation.

Trustees John Paul Dress and Dave Hirt agree with Rozak the levy is much needed, and will have a minimal boost in annual taxes.

“If your home is appraised at $100,000, the assessed value is $35,000,” Rozak explained. “You are currently paying $18.90 for the existing 1 mill and 1.5 mill levies we are looking to replace. The new levy would annually cost $70, or $51.10 more each year. That’s about 14 cents more per day.”

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