Trustees debate timed tax levy

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By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

As financial troubles continue to plaque the Franklin Township Police Department, township officials are at odds as to how to fix the issue.

At a recent board meeting, Franklin Township trustee Tim Guyton expressed his frustration with a proposed solution to the department’s financial issues.

“We missed an opportunity last November and missed another opportunity to place a levy on the ballot in May of this year because we can’t agree on terms,” Guyton said.

Guyton has been vocal about his opposition of another permanent levy, saying he would only support a five-year timed levy. Trustees Don Cook and John Fleshman support a permanent levy.

At the meeting, residents chimed in on what type of levy they would support.

“No one wants another permanent levy,” said Tim Chaney, township resident. “If you are going to do anything, you should do a timed levy. No one wants to pay for another levy for 20 plus years.”

Guyton said comments like that are why he was so vocal about opposing the recent proposed permanent fire levy.

“I have heard these comments for three years in a row,” he said. “The first two years I listened, but the last year I got involved because this is not what the people of this township want.”

Cook and Fleshman argued that a timed levy is meant for buying equipment or funding projects, not for funding a department.

“Do you want a police department in five years?” Cook asked. “If we do a timed levy and it expires and isn’t renewed, we won’t have a police department. Is that a risk you are willing to take?”

Guyton said if the two trustees decide to move forward with a permanent levy, they will do it without his support.

“It only takes two of three to proceed with anything. If they wish to push forward with a permanent levy, they have the ability to do so,” Guyton said.

Cook said that a decision will need to be made in next two to three months if they want to move forward with a levy on the November ballot.

“Right now we cannot come to any kind of agreement,” Cook said. “Right now we don’t know what we are going to do.”

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