Blanchester council discusses possible police levy for November

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — A police levy could make its way to the November ballot.

During a special meeting on Tuesday, the Blanchester Village Council discussed the next possible step after the failed earnings tax on last year’s ballot. The discussion was between another earnings tax or a levy specifically for the Blanchester Police Department.

Mayor John Carman stated that it is important for the village to keep its own resources and he wanted to see how they could fund the police department. With the levy, he told attendees that no millage amount would be able to fully cover the police budget, but it would free up money currently being budgeted. If a earnings tax was proposed it would be specifically for the police department.

One resident, Rob Richmond, thought it is pointless to fund an entire police department on a tax. He believed that whatever the council does, they should narrow down what they’re spending the money on.

“People aren’t voting on it because they don’t know what you’re going to spend it on,” Richmond said. “You have to be specific and say we’re going to spend $100,000 here or $15,000 here. That’s what the people want to know.”

Council member Reilly Hopkins, Chad Hollon and Gary Bauer voiced support for a police levy but each had different opinions on the millage.

Hollon said he’d vote for nothing over 4 mills, Hopkins said he’d vote for a 3-mill levy, and Bauer said he’d vote for a 2-mill levy. Council member Cindy Sutton said she had concerns about how it would affect the retirees of the village. Council members Lori Byrom and Don Gephart were not present.

The choice the wait to put it something on the November ballot was to allow for more discussion of the details.

By John Hamilton