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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Levy aims to pay for sheriff s patrols

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

To help pay for police protection, Jerusalem Township voters will be asked on the Nov. 3 ballot to approve a 3.5-mill levy that will raise enough money for patrols by the Lucas County Sheriff's Office for a year.

The levy would raise $237,000 and cost the owner of a $100,000 house $107 for the year, according to the Lucas County auditor's office.

Jerusalem Township was among eight Lucas County townships told in June they will have to begin paying next year for patrols by the Lucas County Sheriff's Office.

The bill initially was expected to be $346,968 a year for Jerusalem Township, although the county since has offered to phase in payments by charging 65 percent the next year and 80 percent in 2011.

Joseph Kiss, Jr., a Jerusalem Township trustee, said results of the Nov. 3 ballot should give trustees a clear indication of how residents want to handle police protection. A 6.5-mill levy would be needed to raise 100 percent of the county's bill, he said.

"I think it's better to let the township residents decide if they want more taxes," Mr. Kiss said. "Hopefully, we'll get a solid answer from our residents."

He added: "I'm anxious to see what happens."

If Jerusalem Township does not pay the county for police protection, then the sheriff's office will respond only to 911 calls.

County officials have said all taxpayers fund the sheriff's budget but most pay for their own police protection. Oregon and Toledo, for example, have their own police departments.

Jerusalem Township trustees are forming a steering committee to consider alternatives for police protection, Mr. Kiss said.

Among possibilities is forming a police department in Jerusalem Township or contracting with another force, he said.



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