Township voters to decide police levy

CALCUTTA –St. Clair Township officials are moving forward with plans to place a replacement levy on the ballot in the November elections.

During Tuesday’s meeting, trustees approved a resolution to place a 3.35 mill police protection levy — which would replace an old 4-mill levy — before voters during the Nov. 6 election.

If approved, monet generated from the levy will go toward maintenance of police cruisers, communications and other equipment used by the police department, along with salaries, benefits and withholdings.

Last month, trustees requested information from the Columbiana County Auditor’s office as to how much money would be generated from a 2-mill levy as a replacement to the 4-mill levy, one of which dates back to 1985 and generates $210,000 revenue annually. At the June 26 meeting, trustees found the revenues generated from that request were too low, and requested a new tax evaluation and the proper amount of mills that will generate $300,000 worth of revenue for the township.

From the second round of requests, Fiscal Officer Deborah Dawson provided trustees with two scenarios: a new 3-mill levy with no replacement, and the other being to increase the current dollar value for the replacement levy of $210,000 to generate a total of $510,000.

“If you take the 200 plus the three what we need is the five, and that’s what that report reflects,” Dawson said.

Rather than asking for a full replacement on the 4-mill levy, Dawson said it would replace it with a smaller millage.

Trustees agreed to place the levy on the ballot, and the information will be submitted to the county auditor’s office.

In other police matters, Chief Brian McKenzie presented the police department’s activity report for June, which totaled 246 reports.

The breakdown included 88 total incident reports, 59 traffic citations (noted by McKenzie as a slight increase from May), 21 crash reports, 12 incidents/documentation and 10 thefts.

Also listed in the count were seven reports of drug activity, six towed vehicles, six warrant checks/service, five cases of fraud, five investigating disturbances, four ambulance requests, four domestic violence calls, three breaking-and-entering, two DUIs, two follow-up investigations, two identity theft reports, two investigations, two stolen vehicles, two reports of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, one body report, one code 10, one criminal mischief, one fight, one juvenile problem, one removal request, one public intoxication, one traffic stop and one vandalism.

Although a decrease from the May count (which has the highest call volume so far in 2018 at 278), the June count is the second-highest month of activity volume so far with half of the year complete.

McKenzie also reported the police department’s repeater system on Irish Ridge Road was down June 21, but added the system has since been repaired and is again operating.

In addition, McKenzie re-introduced Kim Nusser, who was sworn in prior to Tuesday’s meeting as a part-time/auxiliary officer. According to McKenzie, Nusser has served with the St. Clair Township and Liverpool Township departments and has worked with BCII for several years.