Washington Twp. voters face police levy request in election

Washington Twp. officials are asking voters to approve a 2.3-mill, five-year replacement levy for police services. Officials say the sheriff s substation places a high priority on community engagement. MCSO School Resource Officer Gary Fulwiler visits summer camp in this photo.
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Washington Twp. officials are asking voters to approve a 2.3-mill, five-year replacement levy for police services. Officials say the sheriff s substation places a high priority on community engagement. MCSO School Resource Officer Gary Fulwiler visits summer camp in this photo.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ohio primary election was moved from March 17. The deadline to vote in the Ohio primary election is April 28. Voters must request an absentee ballot from their county’s board of election if they have not already voted. All absentee ballots mailed in must have a postmark of April 27 to be counted, and all ballots must be received by the boards by May 8 to be counted. Voters can drop off the ballots to board offices in person by 7:30 p.m. April 28. In-person voting will be offered on April 28, but will only occur at boards of elections early voting center and only be available for people with disabilities who require in-person voting and people who do not have a home mailing address. Local election officials say voters need to make sure they include all the required information on absentee ballot request forms and pay close attention to unsolicited request forms they get in the mail. State law allows ballots to be scanned but they cannot be tabulated until 7:30 p.m. April 28.

Washington Twp. is asking voters on March 17 to approve a 2.3-mill, five-year replacement levy for police services.

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The continuous levy would replace an expiring levy of the same value and provide a little more than half of the funding for Washington Twp.’s police services that 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 2019. Township trustees approved the ballot item at their Dec. 2 meeting.

Trustees opted for a continuous 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 Sharon Lowry.

“The levy balances two objectives,” Lowry explained. “Our goal is to remain conservative with taxpayer money while also maintaining stability for township police services.”

Lowry said contracting with the sheriff’s office affords residents the economies of scale, service levels, and expertise of a large department and also enables the township to negotiate the level of service appropriate for the community, said Lowry.

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

“The levy will allow us to keep pace with inflation and an increasing demand for services,” Lightle said. “If the levy is approved, the cost of police services will remain low.”

She added that the township’s per capita police expenditures are among the lowest in the south Dayton area.

“In 2018, the township’s per capita expenditure was $139, compared to an average of $229 for five nearby communities with populations of at least 15,000,” Lightle said.

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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.

Last 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 fire levy will 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.

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Voter early

Voters who want to get their ballots in before primary Election Day on March 17 can vote absentee by mail or in person at their county board of elections offices.

The deadline to request absentee mail ballots is three days before the election, or March 14. Absentee ballots must be signed. Absentee ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by the day before the election to be counted, or they can be returned in-person at the county board of elections before polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. (Do not take the ballot to a polling place.)

Early voting hours are the same in all counties:

‒ 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays from Wednesday to March 6

‒ 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7

‒ 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13

‒ 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 14

‒ 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15

‒ 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 16

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