New Waterford council votes to seek higher levy
NEW WATERFORD – All five voting council members said the one-mill additional replacement levy is needed after voting to place it on the May 7 primary election ballot during a special meeting Tuesday night.
The one-mill will be added to three mills currently being collected to cover current operating expenses.
It will be an increase to the owner of a $40,000 home of $30.59 a year ($2.55 a month), or the owner of a $50,000 home, $38.20 a year ($3.18 a month) while the owner of a $60,000 home will pay $45.89 a year ($3.18 a month).
The county auditor calculated the revenue to be generated at $50,200 annually depending on valuations remaining constant for the life of the five-year levy.
The issue was passed with a 5-0 vote with Councilman Ken Biddle absent.
It is an additional tax but council said it gave the issue careful consideration.
Tom Cresanto said, “To me, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it … it’s like and old tire and we patch it and patch it and we can’t patch it anymore.
“We need a new tube, we can’t patch it anymore with all the state cuts.”
Councilman George Pirock said, “We feel it’s necessary for the village in order to keep funding the way we’d like to go … we need to provide the community with necessities.”
If it doesn’t pass in May, Pirock said, “we’ll put it back on in November. Basically, in order for us to have the funds available we have to pass it. We operate on a tight budget as it is. Without the levy it’ll be that much tighter.
“We will be out talking to people; we’ve talked among ourselves and as we see other people we talk about passing along a positive message.”
Councilman Bill Mullarkey said, “I think it’s something the village needs. We’ve cut out expenses all we can … the state cuts have affected us big time.”
Asked what he would tell voters who sat they are not voting for the levy, Mullarkey said, “The next thing we’d start cutting is the police force and that’s something we don’t want to do.
“The village wants police but if push comes to shove we’ll do it.”
Councilwoman Doris Ogle said, “It’s absolute necessary because of the loss of the Local Government Funds of $30,000 over the last four years.
“If we lay off policemen that increases crime and the lights (have to be looked at),” Ogle said, adding the part-time officers earn $8.65 an hour.
“There have been no raises for five years,” she said.
Councilman Gary dichromate said, “We had a lot of very deep discussions on this … for us to stay in a positive this is must for us.
“It comes down to making the village better … it will pay us back three-fold in dividends with the police department, the lights …. streets, everything … we need to have that money for this.
“I’ll tell you one thing, it’s very comforting to see a cruiser out at 3 a.m.”
Village officials are unanimous about the need to pass the levy.
Last week, Mayor Shane Patrone said Fiscal Officer Dave Slagle said the village has made all the cuts it can without taking aim at the police department and street lighting.
Last year, Slagle was hired as fiscal officer at $5,961 a year less than his predecessor. That cut was part of an overall package of $32,931 in reductions over 12 months implemented by the village.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org