Perry Township seeking replacement levy


PERRY TOWNSHIP – Township trustees discussed legislation needed before they can place a 2.5-mill, replacement, Fire/EMS levy on the upcoming November ballot.

Fiscal Officer Rhonda Behnken said a resolution is needed to request the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office to certify the total amount of revenue that would be generated by the levy for a continuous period, beginning the tax year 2020. Collection would begin in the year 2021.

“The levy is to provide funding for the Fire/EMS levy service, as authorized in Ohio Revised Code Section 5705.19(1), to be voted on in the Nov. 3, 2020 general election,” said Behnken.

She said the certification from the auditor needs to be submitted to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, probably by the first week in August.

Perry Township’s fire and EMS services are provided by Brookville Fire Department up to Amity Road and by New Lebanon Fire Department from Amity Road south.

“We cannot pass the ballot language until we receive the auditor’s certificate. We need two resolutions,” Behnken said.

“I think the fire departments have put us into the position where we don’t really have a choice if we want the fire/EMS levy on the ballot,” said Trustee Mindi Wynne.

Trustee Jason Hartshorn agreed.

Trustees’ President Melissa Mears said, “We need to make clear that this is not an additional tax, correct?”

Behken explained there will be added money from every homeowner.

“Currently, our 2.5-mill levy was voted in 2013. With our new home building that has decreased it to 2.3, you cannot bring in more than what the levy was voted for. This would take it back up to 2.5,” she said. “The last time I researched, this would be about an additional $15,000.”

“Every homeowner would be paying more based on the value of their property,” Behnken said.

Trustees voted unanimously to request the auditor’s office certificate for the language to be placed on the ballot.

Behnken said she, trustees Mears and Wynne, Road Superintendent Mike Kraft and others involved with the Wolf Creek Log Jam project met with representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“The township can participate in the clean-up of that area with a 25 percent in-kind, or pay $27,710 and not be involved,” Behnken said.

She said the road and bridge fund can’t afford another large expense because of money used for a project on Sheep Road, so trustees passed a resolution to participate in the clean-up project with an in-kind payment of $27,710.

Mears announced Karen Kaylor has been hired to replace Kate Christian, who is resigning, as office assistant, trash and zoning administrator.

Christian’s monthly report noted that second quarter 2020 trash bills will be mailed out at the end of June.

In police matters, several members of the police department helped out at the downtown Dayton protests held May 30 and May 31.

In her trustee report, Mears said, “I would like to take a minute and thank Chief Littleton and our officers for going down to the City of Dayton protest when they were called upon.”

She also said she had taken water to them while they were working there, as did Trustee

Wynne.

Wynne gave kudos to Hartshorn for his work creating a new township Web site and Facebook page.

“This will be the page where we share information officially,” she said.

“I also want to remind people there will be three places, mandatory, for our information to go,” Wynne said.

They are the Brookville Star, email for those who sign up for it and posting on the door at the administration building. Besides that, it will be on the township’s Facebook page (Perry Township Montgomery County Ohio) and possibly on her own Facebook page.

Wynne said Chief Tim Littleton does an amazing job communicating with the community and with the trustees.

“If I have any concerns or questions, I flat-out ask him and he’s very happy to answer,” Wynne said. “I just want to make it very clear that I will always stand 100 percent behind our police department.”

Hartshorn gave an informative report on the township’s new Web site.

“As it stands, our Web site’s going to have two pages — one that covers general township information and one that covers the cemeteries we have in the township,” said Hartshorn.

He said there will be links to good contacts for the residents. He also added it to Facebook.

“We also have a YouTube page and an Instagram page, both linked to the Web site,” he said.

People who need them will be able to pick up a copy of the recorded meetings.

“I would like to drive down the need for so many physical copies of the meetings because they’ll be out there on YouTube,” Hartshorn said.

He also expressed pleasure that Perry Township’s rate of response to the 2020 Census as of June 8 is 73.7 percent (higher that the state’s), important because a high rate defines a lot of the township’s ability to get grants and other monies needed for projects.

The next regular Perry Township Trustees meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14.

Call the offices at 1-937-833-3045 on how to attend. Offices are located at 3025 Johnsville-Brookville Road, Brookville. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 until 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.