NEW PARIS — During the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election, Village of New Paris residents will have the opportunity to vote for an additional tax for the purpose of police protection.
According to ballot language, the additional tax will be set “at a rate not exceeding two mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.20 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”
The Village of New Paris currently has one continuing police levy in effect, for three mills at 1984’s valuation. According to Mayor Kathy Smallwood, three mills would be enough to run the department on today’s valuation, but they are not accumulating enough funds at the continuing valuation.
The village has been supplementing the police budget with funds from the village’s General Fund. Last year, the village transferred $7,000 a month from the General Fund. This year, they are transferring $9,000 a month, but are inspecting that cost to increase to $11,000, according to Smallwood.
The police levy currently in effect generates approximately $21,200. If the two mill levy passes, it would generate $28,460. The village plans to keep the original levy in effect, in case the new one does not pass. If the new tax passes, it is up to the NP Village Council whether or not it will retire the original tax.
“Whatever we don’t have to transfer to police, we can use for things like streets. We have been very fortunate to be the recipients of grants several times, but it is not enough to do everything that needs to be done. These funds will pay for police salaries, gas and oil, and benefits for our employees,” Smallwood said. “The new funds will go into the areas they are needed most. Every penny will go to the police fund. The council feels that it is really important to maintain a police department. The County does a nice job, but who knows where their deputies will be if we need them.”
“We would like to extend the coverage we have,” she added. “Right now, we are not covered 24/7. We have rotating jobs when there is not someone here and we have to rely on the county. We would like to not have to do that. We would like to hire some part-time people to pick up the slack.
“We have two or three part-time people working and two full-time officers. In this day and age, sleepy little villages are just as dangerous as big towns. I think people need to look out their doors and see there is a lot we would like to keep curbed and contained if we can.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH