Pemberville might vote on police, park levies in Nov. PDF Print E-mail
Written by By HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Thursday, 23 July 2009 08:30
PEMBERVILLE - Mayor James Opelt suggested Tuesday night that Pemberville Village Council consider placing a 2-mill levy for the police department and a 0.25-mill levy for parks and recreation on the November ballot.
Opelt also outlined a series of suggested cuts if voters do not approve the levy. He said council should be ready to make a decision at its Aug. 4 meeting and propose alternatives to his list of cuts. The village has until Aug. 20 to submit issues to the Wood County Board of Elections.
"I know this is a bad time, however, I just can't see why we shouldn't give the levies a chance another time. Going on the ballot in November isn't going to cost us anything. If we go to a special election there will be a cost," Opelt said.  "These amounts are the bare minimum," he added.
The police levy would run for three years and generate an estimated $53,684 a year.
Opelt proposed that if the levy does not pass the police sergeant position be reduced to part-time and patrols and officers available be cut from 20 hours to 14 hours per day. There would be no purchase of new vehicles and sponsors of events in the village that require police help would be required to pay all of those costs.
The two-mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home a total of $61.25 a year. Opelt said the combined cost of the levies would be 19 cents per day.
The levy would cover about one-quarter of the police budget. "This is something we have to do. We need to get out there and sell it and be positive, positive, positive," Opelt said.
Opelt had high praise for the police, noting that eight officers had been on duty most of last Saturday for the community garage sales. "Only one was being paid. These people give up their time. They are outstanding people."
Council President Gordon Bowman said residents need to hear about the mayor's experience with the police officers. "There are clear-cut consequences. It is not a Pollyanna situation. Help us or here are the consequences. We need to make it clear."
The park levy would raise an estimated $6,700 a year for three years.
The mayor suggested if the levy doesn't pass, all restrooms in the park be closed, mowing be done every other week, there be no repair of equipment, no help with preparation of the baseball field, no development of Northwest or Oberhouse parks and the pool schedule be shortened.
Council Members Christian King and Eric Campbell voiced concerns with the mowing reduction at a time when village officials are struggling to get some residents to take care of their properties.
Council also:
¥ Discussed possible changes to golf cart regulations. The possibility of one-day passes for $1 is among the changes that may be in a revised ordinance at the Aug. 4 meeting. Bowman said he has seen golf carts being driven by youth who look younger than the legal driving range. Residents are asked to call police if they observe underage drivers on public property or streets.
¥ Heard a report from Bowman that there has been some preliminary interest in the Modine plant site. Bowman said the village needs to come up with a package of incentives to help attract state help to fill the impending vacancy.
¥ Learned heavy brush pickup is Aug. 3. Campbell said brush is not to be put out before noon on Aug. 2.
¥ Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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