The cost of police service the Village of Millbury receives from the Lake Township Police Department won’t increase this year as had been scheduled in a contract between the village and township.
The Lake Township trustees Tuesday agreed to a request by the village to waive a 3 percent increase set to go into effect this year, allowing the village more time to research options for generating additional revenue.
Letters from Millbury Mayor Michael Timmons and Clarence Wilburn, a member of village council’s safety committee, requesting the waiver, were read at the trustees’ meeting.
The village has a 3-year contract with the township for police coverage and is currently paying $65,772 a year.
A 3-percent increase would be about $1,973.
Mayor Timmons’ letter said the village is facing declining revenues from a property tax levy allocated for funding police coverage.
“In light of our decreasing revenues, we are asking the township to postpone increasing our costs for police service to the village until we can further research options to generate more revenue.” the letter says.
Councilman Wilburn, who regularly attends meetings of the trustees, said the 2.1-mill levy was enacted in 1984 and only generates about $15,000 annually – roughly what one mill would generate at today’s property valuations.
Village officials have had to routinely tap the general fund to make up the difference, he said, adding the fund has been taking a hit due to the poor economy, state cutbacks, and falling property valuations.
Council is awaiting more information from the Wood County auditor’s office before deciding what course it will take, Wilburn said.
He described the township’s police service as “excellent.”
Village council is scheduled to meet Jan. 16 to discuss the issue.
Recently, unionized members of the township police department voluntarily agreed to waive a 2 percent wage increase scheduled to go into effect in 2012.
The waiver will be in effect the first half of the year.
In other business, the trustees re-elected Melanie Bowen as the chairman of the board of trustees and Ron Sims as the co-chairman for 2012.
Four residents were re-appointed to zoning panels.
Jamie Stanley and Marlene Burr were re-appointed to five-year terms on the township zoning commission and Don Nichols and Sondra Klavinger were re-appointed to five-year terms on the zoning board of appeals.