By Amanda Amsel
The Franklin Township trustees are reviewing police levy options.
At a recent board meeting, the trustees told Police Chief Allan Wheeler to have the Franklin County Auditor look into the current tax valuation of the township and investigate the number of mills required to generate $400,000, $500,000, $600,000 or $700,000.
Trustees Don Cook and John Fleshman approved this motion. Tim Guyton was absent from the meeting.
The trustees still have not come to an agreement as to how much they will ask voters for or what type of levy they will seek. Cook and Fleshman have said they support a permanent levy, while Guyton has said he would support a timed levy.
“This motion was to get the ball rolling. Just because we are looking into this, does not mean we are going to do a levy,” Fleshman said. “We still want to hear from the residents of Franklin Township. We want to know what they want.”
The township recently sent out a newsletter asking residents to tell them if they support a permanent levy, a timed levy or no levy at all. According to Fleshman, he has only heard back from two residents out of 10,000 that live in the township.
“This is not a hard decision for me, but I’m only one person in this township,” Fleshman said. “There is no point in paying to get a levy on the ballot if none of the public wants it.”
Fleshman said of the two people that responded to the newsletter, one said they supported a timed levy, while the other person said they supported a permanent levy.
At a recent trustees meeting, several residents said they do not want a permanent levy.
“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.”
If the trustees move forward with a permanent levy, this will be the fourth time the township has tried for a permanent levy. The first three times the fire department asked for a permanent levy it failed.
Fleshman said the trustees need to come to a decision by August if they want to move forward with a levy on the November ballot.
“I want to hear from the people and have them tell me what they want,” Fleshman said. “If they don’t want a levy, it would be foolish to ask for one. However, if they want more proactive police coverage, then this is what we have to do.”
If you are interested in telling the trustees your opinion about a potential police levy on the November ballot, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 279-9411.