JC Council discusses potential police levy

Staff report

JACKSON CENTER — The Jackson Center Village Council met Jan. 25 for a regular session.

Metz reported that he has been talking with Chief Joe Cotterman and the Mayor about the police budget with regards to future activities, hiring a third officer and purchasing another cruiser. Metz stated that he instructed Cotterman to have a meeting with council and present a five or ten year plan so that questions can be asked and he can inform council of what he is thinking.

Mayor Scott Klopfenstein informed Metz to share with Chief Cotterman what a 2 mill levy would produce in revenue if the department decided to run a police levy. Klopfenstein stated that what he thinks is happening is that the county is answering fewer and fewer calls for all of the village’s. The mayor went on to say that their officers are handling more and more calls, whereas the county used to take care of a lot of those calls and they are not now.

Klopfenstein stated that he would like to put a levy on to give the people a chance to express how they feel. Council Member Karen Woodruff asked if they had a third officer if they would still need the auxiliary personnel. Metz stated that the village currently budgets $27,000 for auxiliary personnel. Klopfenstein stated that they would still need some auxiliary coverage with a third officer, but felt that we could cut that down some.

Klopfenstein stated that the crimes that people are really concerned about are as low as they have been in years. These extra calls are to check on people and things that are very convenient and very nice for our people; but are not considered what you would call a police call. Metz stated that over the last few years, the General Fund appropriation budget has gone from $343,000 down to $303,000 last year. However, the money coming in is only $268,000, which means the excess is slowly dwindling away. Metz went on to say that in this budget year, they are now diverting 50 percent of the income tax collections to the General Fund to help pay for the increased expenses for the police department. However, this was money that was being put in the Capital Improvement and General Improvement funds to fund capital projects in the village.

They village has gone from putting 63.3 percent of the income tax revenue into Capital Improvement to now only 25 percent. The General Improvement Fund was receiving 20 percent and now only receives 8.3 percent of the income tax revenue. Mayor Klopfenstein stated that they cannot keep deferring more income tax monies to the General Fund to cover police expenses or they will not have anything to do capital project with.

In other business:

They discussed and approved the December financial reports. Council Member Larry Wahrer reported that the month of December was a break-even month with the month to date revenue being a little under $1,000 more than the month to date expenses. He went on to say the year to date revenue was close to half a million more than the year to date expenses.

Village Administrator Bruce Metz reported to the council that he is working on obtaining material quotes for State Route 274 West Project (Project Bambi). Metz stated that the Ohio Department of Transportation has stated they can give $100,000 towards the project. Jobs Ohio has stated that they can give $250,000 towards the project. Metz states that he believes with the village crews doing part of the work, that they can get their part completed for $125,000.

However, that still leaves an amount of $175,000 that will be needed for blacktop and other items that the village cannot do. Metz stated that with all of the other projects that they have going, he doesn’t think that the village can cover the $175,000. Metz went on to say that this is a project that Airstream wants to get done this year.

Metz said he attended a meeting on the School Project/Hamer St. Project. He reported that they want to break ground on the school in April 2016 and that the village is ready to break ground on the Hamer Street extension right now. As soon as crews are able to move in and the ground stays solid, they will get moving on that.

Staff report