BUTLER TWP. – Over the past several months, Butler Township residents have told their Trustees that, if given the opportunity, they would support their local police department with levy dollars.
Township residents are a step closer to making that a reality after the Township’s Budget Commission voted 5-1 to send a recommendation for a 3.5 mil levy to the Trustees for consideration. The recommendation does not include any language that would allow for the contracting of police services with the Sheriff’s Office or any other outside entity.
The proposal is expected to be considered at the Trustees’ regular meeting on Monday, June 25. The Trustees must approve any issue for the November election by August 6.
In making their recommendation, the Commission noted that the Township currently transfers $350,000 from the general fund and used $441,000 in JEDZ funding from the Miller Lane Business District.
Projections for 2017 show a shortfall in the police fund of $572,000 in 2017 which rises to $657,000 in 2020.
Fiscal Officer Mark Adams said that much of the problem is related to reductions in revenue as the result of state action.
“This problem is not due to mismanagement,” said Adams. “The Township has lost $1 million annually in revenue from state sources.”
The proposed 3.5 mil would raise an additional $755,000 per year and cost property owners $122.50 for every $100,000 in property value.
“Our residents want to keep our own police department, and in order to do that we are going to have to belly up and support our police department,” said Commission Member Sherry Edwards.
The Commission emphasized over and over again that the levy proposal would not be used for a contract with the Sheriff’s Office.
“That’s off the table – we can’t do that anymore,” said Adams in reference to contracting with the Sheriff’s Office. “Residents have said over and over that they would support our local police department. This proposal gives folks the opportunity to support their police department.”
At the beginning of the meeting, Chairman Greg Brush reported that Commission Member David Mohler had submitted his resignation due to changes in his business. He said a request would be made to the Trustees to make an appointment to fill the vacancy.
The Butler Township Budget Commission will hold a day-long workshop intended to delve into the budget’s details on Friday, August 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Butler Township Hall on Little York Road.