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.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Washington Twp. voters face police levy request in election

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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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