The Village of Oak Harbor will seek voter approval of Issue 1, a 2.87-mill renewal levy to support operational and capital improvement expenses within its police department. The levy will result in no increased annual cost to residents to maintain and will be eligible again for subsequent renewal every five years.
“The Police Levy has become a much-needed income resource to provide our department with day-to-day operations,” said Chief of Police Eric Parker, noting several years ago the department had “paint falling off its cars,” as well as other costly repairs. According to Chief Parker, the
department “extended out the purchase of vehicles, to save money,” but such expenses are eventually unavoidable. The safety of the department’s officers, and the residents, is always a very high priority when considering the use of levy funding.
The proposed 2.87-mill levy would raise $118,470 in additional revenue for police operations and is expected to cost an owner of a $50,000 home $3.65 per month and the owner of a $100,000 home $7.31 per month, an approximate 13% reduction from the original levy cost.
“We have replaced old uniforms, replaced old firearms, and we have also used the funding for additional training, as well,” said Chief Parker. “I firmly believe a well-trained department provides the professionalism and community safety our citizens deserve.”
Police funding provides 24-hour police protection for the Village; 24-hour dispatching services for the Oak Harbor Police Department and billable dispatching services to the Portage Fire District, Mid-County EMS, Rocky Ridge Fire, Carroll Township Police and the Carroll Township Fire and EMS; fielding after-hours emergency calls for the Public Works and Public
Power departments of the Village, Carroll Water and Sewer District and Carroll Township Maintenance Department; the police station hosting a prescription drug drop-off location for all county residents; receipt and response of fire and burglary alarms for local residents and businesses and the police station serving as a safe place for e-Commerce transactions.
According to Village Administrator Randall Genzman, the proposed renewal levy may only be used for police department expenses and cannot be utilized by any other General Fund departments. In addition to police operational expenses, eligible capital expenses could include patrol cars, updated dispatching systems, portable radio systems, tasers, firearms, personal safety equipment, breath alcohol testing equipment, body cameras and police station infrastructure. Genzman added that many such items are old and need updating, while others “provide needed equipment for today’s policing and community protection requirements.”
Following financial losses totaling $225,000 annually, due to cuts in state government funds provided by local taxpayers’ dollars, and the elimination of the estate tax, Genzman indicated the Village has reduced expenses significantly since February 2014 by cutting over $731,000 from the General Fund and a total of $1.3 million from all funds. The police renewal levy would ensure continued, uninterrupted operation of the police department. For more information, contact the Village Administrator’s office, 419-898- 5561. For election information visit EducatedVote.com or contact QBabcock@OakHarbor.oh.us, 419-635-7560.