PERRY TWP. - Township voters gave a huge nod of approval to their safety forces Tuesday night by renewing a 1.5-mill levy to pay for equipment, equipment repairs and communications in the police and fire departments for another five years.
According to complete, but unofficial results from the Columbiana County Board of Elections, the safety forces levy passed with 204 yes votes and 40 no votes, or nearly 84 percent in favor of the measure.
Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston said previously the levy would not cost taxpayers any additional money since it was a renewal and would generate an estimated $125,500 per year to be split between the fire and police departments.
The levy first approved about 15 years ago does not cover any salaries or benefits. She explained it can only be used for equipment, such as the recently purchased new fire truck or a new police cruiser, for repairs and maintenance of equipment, and for communications, such as radios, the new radio tower or the dispatching contracts for the police and fire departments.
The ballot language specifically described the levy as "for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire and police equipment, apparatus, motor vehicles and communication."
Not all of the levy money is spent every year, with some of the money set aside over several years for larger purchases, such as a fire truck or police cruiser. The new fire truck purchased earlier this year cost $336,908.
The fire department has two other levies, both continuous and both .5-mill levies. The police department relies on a 1.5-mill levy and a 1-mill levy, both renewed every five years, along with a continuous 1.5-mill levy.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org