Lake Twp.:Police levy headed to Nov. ballot

Larry Limpf

A new 2.5-mill property tax levy would secure adequate funding for the Lake Township Police Department and enable it to operate without having to dip into the township’s general fund, Police Chief Mark Hummer said last week.
The township trustees on Tuesday approved a resolution to put the millage request on the Nov. 3 ballot.
If passed, the levy would generate about $459,907 a year and be in effect continuously. The department also relies on 1.4-mill, 2.9-mill and 4-mill issues for funding. Combined they generate $1.36 million annually, according to Buddy Ritson, township fiscal officer, who said the department still had to tap into the general fund this year for $200,000 to meet expenses.
Chief Hummer said the department’s staffing has remained level but costs such as health care, vehicles and equipment have risen significantly since the department sought additional millage more than 10 years ago.
“This is a definite need of the department to maintain the level of service we currently offer,” the chief said. “Our books are open to anybody who wants to see them. We run an incredibly tight ship. Based on the call volume the officers face there really is no fat in this budget. We stretched as long as we could before going into the general fund.”
He said the department could purchase vehicles 10 years ago for about half of the current price, which is around $40,000.
The Village of Millbury contracts annually with the township for police service and the Lake School District pays for half the costs of a School Resource Officer who is on duty at the Lemoyne Road campus.
The current assessed valuation of real property in the township is approximately $184 million, according to data provided to the township by the Wood County auditor’s office.


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