WEST MILTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Village of West Milton is asking voters to renew a levy that provides essential funds for their police and fire departments when they go to the polls in November.
The income tax levy generates 30% of the village’s police and fire budget each year, and this levy is needed in order to keep providing their same quality of service to the community.
“We’re a small agency, so that large amount of money would impact us in many ways,” West Milton Police Chief Doyle Wright said.
With a yearly budget of $1.4 million shared between the West Milton Police Department and Fire Company, the levy on November’s ballot would generate around $400,000 a year.
The 0.5% income tax levy is a renewal, meaning no additional taxes to residents.
“They’re simply renewing a levy that’s been in place for many, many years, there’s no increase, it just allows those resources to continue to flow to our public safety departments,” West Milton Village Manager Jeff Sheridan said.
The levy provides for personnel, equipment, maintenance and other needs for police and fire.
Recently, the funds helped the fire company purchase a new air trailer and fire trucks.
“With the existing levy, we’ve been able to keep up and provide equipment, state-of-the-art equipment for the citizens of the village and the township,” West Milton Fire Chief David Jay said.
If the levy didn’t pass, both Wright and Jay said it could be detrimental because they’d have to make cuts to the services the levy provides.
“People who pick up the phone and rely on public safety and public services, or fire services, they expect a response,” Wright said. “We want to be there as quickly as possible, obviously, if we don’t have the resources, that could impact us severely.”
The police and fire levy has been in effect since 1997 and last was renewed in 2016.