UNION — With city residents voting against a 2.5 mills police levy in May the City of Union Budget Commission recently deemed it necessary to place the levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.
City council passed a resolution at Monday’s council meeting to start that process.
“The budget committee recommended that we put the levy back on the ballot, so we are asking council to approve this resolution to start that process,” said City Manager John Applegate.
Passage of the levy would enable the city to pay wages and benefits to its police officers, maintain police vehicles, land and building, supplies, fund communications and other equipment and expenses used directly in operation of the police department at a rate not exceeding 2.5 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to 25 cents for each $100 of valuation for a continuing period of time. If approved by voters the first collection of taxes would begin in 2019.
In May voters defeated the levy with 47.80 percent voting for the additional 2.5 mills and 52.20 percent against the levy. Passage of the levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $80,000 approximately $5.83 per month. Voters did approve the city’s Fire and EMS levy seeking an additional 2.5 mills on May 6 with 53.53 percent of voters for the levy with 46.47 percent against.
“We are grateful that citizens approved the Fire/EMS levy, which will provide the fire department with much needed funding,” said Police/Fire Chief Mike Blackwell.
The last police replacement levy was passed in 2004 along with a levy for an additional 2.5 mills for the fire department.
In 2016 the city had to transfer $25,000 from its general fund to support the police department and in 2017 a total of $52,000 was transferred. For 2018 it is projected $63,000 would need to be transferred to support the police department. Applegate said that amount could increase by another $5,000 to $10,000 depending on how funds are expended during the year or if problems might develop.