The village of Enon may seek additional tax dollars later this year to operate its police department.
“We’re just like every other community,” said Enon Mayor Timothy Howard. “Our expenses are going up and our revenues are doing down. We’re faced with the challenge of the best way to address that.”
The village’s finance committee discussed the need for additional revenue for the police department, including a new money levy, at Wednesday’s meeting, Howard said. Details for the potential levy will be released at a later date, he said, but nothing has been approved by the village council.
The police department’s budget was about $452,000 last year, said Police Chief Lewis Wilcox.
“We think we’ve done an excellent job over the last few years to increase the services and the level of professionalism,” Howard said. “We hope our residents recognize that. It’s going to be our job to really emphasize all the good things we’ve done in the Enon community.”
The police department currently has three full-time and five part-time officers, Howard said.
“We don’t want to go back, we want to maintain that,” Howard said. “We’re going to need their help at some point in 2016.”
About 40 percent of the police department’s budget is funded through the village’s general fund – hurt by reduced state Local Government Funds and the elimination of the estate tax, Howard said.
The police department will remain fully functioning in 2016, Howard said. However, the village is making adjustments this year in order to provide the same service next year if the police levy is successful, Howard said.
“We have been watching our expenditures very closely, We look at personnel, we look at what we’re going to be purchasing. We’ve taken a very conservative approach to the operation of our police department in 2016.”
In 2013, the department spent about $50,000 in updated radio equipment. They’ve also updated cruisers with the LEADS system, which cost about $4,500 to $5,000 per year, said Police Chief Lewis Wilcox. They’ve also seen increased costs for both insurance and body cameras, he said.
“Costs are going up,” Wilcox said.
A public forum may be held in the future to talk about the potential levy, Wilcox said.
“We can see the end fast approaching where money is getting tighter than it is right now,” Wilcox said.
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