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Washington Twp. to place police services levy on March ballot

Washington Township trustees have voted unanimously to place a 2.3-mill police services replacement levy on the March ballot.
Washington Township trustees have voted unanimously to place a 2.3-mill police services replacement levy on the March ballot.

Washington Twp. trustees have voted unanimously to place a 2.3-mill police services replacement levy on the March ballot.

If approved, the levy would become permanent and replace an expiring levy that provides a little more than half of the funding for Washington Twp.’s police services, which are delivered through a contract with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

If the levy is approved, a homeowner would pay approximately $80.50 annually for every $100,000 of appraised tax value, an amount that is $6.25 more than currently paid, according to township officials.

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Trustees opted for a permanent levy because it provides a reliable funding source that enables the township to make decisions about revenue that are driven by township needs rather than a pre-set expiration date, said Trustee President Dale Berry.

“Our objective is to remain conservative with taxpayer money while maintaining stability for township police services. The levy balances these two objectives,” Berry said.

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Berry added that contracting with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office enables township residents to benefit from the economies of scale provided by a large department, to benefit from its services and expertise, and to negotiate the level of police services that are appropriate for the community.

The replacement levy is expected to generate about $2.76 million per year – an increase of about $222,229 annually – and will maintain the current level of police services.

“The levy will allow us to keep pace with inflation and with an increasing demand for services,” said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle.

In May, voters overwhelmingly approved a 2.85-mill levy that will enable the Washington Twp. fire department to address a shortage of firefighters and an increasing number of calls for service.

The levy is expected to generate about $5.26 million in the first year. Homeowners will pay $99.75 per year for every $100,000 of their home’s value — equivalent to $8.31 per month.

MORE: Washington Twp. fire levy overwhelmingly passes