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Council OKs first step in proposed police levy

Cary Ashby • Jun 5, 2018 at 9:05 PM

City council approved making the first step in updating a 1976 levy that supports the Norwalk Police Department.

Democrat Councilman Chris Castle, who represents the fourth ward, and Republican at-large Councilman Steve Schumm co-sponsored the resolution, which passed unanimously Tuesday.

The resolution requests Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach to certify the current tax value of a .9-mill replacement levy that would last a continuing amount of time. The issue would be on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election and the tax would be collected in calendar year 2019.

Castle, after the meeting, said it’s “basically a decrease” in millage from the 1976 levy, but would update the amount of money the tax brings in to 2018 numbers — while also “increasing our support for the police department.”

“It’s a funding mechanism for the police department because our general fund can’t always feed (everything),” he added. “We need to make sure our police department is equipped.”

Essentially, Castle said the city is asking residents to “give up a cup of coffee every two months so our safety forces can protect our town.” 

Councilman Dave Wallace, who represents the second ward, said he is supporting the levy because the police department is operating on 1976 dollars — something he challenged anyone living in 2018 to do.

“No one likes paying more taxes; nobody likes that, but it is necessary,” he added.

If the voters don’t pass the levy, Wallace said the city will have to work within its means.

In other action Tuesday, council approved submitting a NatureWorks grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to pave the walking path around the soccer fields at Sofios Family Park. The $32,500 grant requires a 25-percent match from Norwalk.

Joe Lindenberger, superintendent of the city parks and recreation department, said most of the project work and cost will be for the concrete in the six-foot wide path that goes seven-tenths of a mile around the soccer fields.

Also, Lindenberger told council that despite the “chilly” 64-degree weather Saturday, there were 94 people who attended the grand opening of the new splash pad behind the outdoor pool at the Ernsthausen Community Center.  

“It’s a great addition to the facility,” he added.

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