At the Polls on November 8, 2016 Brewster Voters approved a 0.5% Municipal Income Tax measure which will provide additional revenues for the operation of the Village Police Department and for the maintenance of Village roadways over the next five years. The final tally provided by the Stark County Board of Elections was 552 - For and 465 - Against.
Thank you Brewster Voters !
Now, Brewster Council and those that administrate Village operations, the Mayor and the Village Administrator, must show the Voters that approving this additional revenue source was a wise decision. Estimates show that an additional $ 400,000 will be gained annually from this new Income Tax, and using that figure and the language in the Ballot issue, approximately $ 160,000 will be directed toward Police operations, and $ 240,000 toward Street maintenance. In 2017 this new revenue will be received beginning with the Second Quarter (April 1st), and then each Quarter thereafter (July 1st, October 1st, January 1, 2018, and so on). What this equation offers is that in 2017 the full amount of expected revenue will not be available until early 2018. This means that more training and added equipment in the PD must be eased into, and a conservative street maintenance program will be the approach in 2017.
At this juncture we wish to offer the following as the 2017 Game Plans in Police Operations. Please keep in mind that priorities can be affected by internal and external issues which will lead to modification of the Game Plan. We shall report those changes as they occur.
POLICE OPERATIONS PLANS FOR 2017
Village Clerk King advises that any new tax dollars received from the additional 0.5% Village Income Tax recently approved by the Brewster Voters will not be realized until the second quarter of 2017. Please keep in mind that the new tax dollars will be received as they are generated throughout the year. This factor provides that planned enhancement of operations in the PD will need to be eased into in the early months of 2017. I would also advise that these new tax dollars need to be expended wisely. On November 18th, Chief Creter sat down with Village Clerk King, VA Miller, and the Mayor to discuss budgeting the new tax dollars in 2017. The following is the tentative plan:
School Resource Officer:
Increase School Resource Officer Benny Truman’s hours in Fairless Schools to forty hours per week beginning on January 1, 2017.
1. Once the new tax dollars begin to be received, plans are to use those new tax dollars to support the School Resource Officer’s compensation and benefits.
2. It is believed that the 2016 carryover and the initial 2017 budget will support the increased hours until the new tax dollars begin to be received in the second quarter of 2017
· State of Ohio mandates 20 hours per year continued training for Police Officers each year. The cost of this training is partially reimbursed by the State
· As funding becomes available, plans are to work toward 8 hours of additional training for each Village Police Officer in each Quarter of the year in 2017 and beyond.
· As funding becomes available, additional training for D.A.R.E., the SRO Officer, the Lead Investigator, Firearms Instructor training, & so forth will be initiated
· As funding becomes available, plans are to purchase four Body Cameras at a total cost of $ 3800 including an extended warranty for each
· Additional funds will provide the Village match for Grants such as in-car camera systems and so forth
· NOT TO BE TAKEN FROM NEW INCOME TAXFUNDS – FYI: In 2017 Council will be asked to replace the 2009 Crown Vic Police Cruiser that has 189,000 miles. This is on the established three-year replacement cycle. The estimated cost is $ 35,000 for an outfitted Ford Explorer w/Police Package, radios, light bars, decals, and so forth
Investigations: Additional hours for the Lead Investigator
· As additional funds become available, plans are to allow additional shifts for investigations to be completed.
· This could entail one to two shifts a week dependent on the work load. (8 to 16 hours/week)
· The shift normally covered by the Lead Investigator would be covered by Part Time Officers
Ask Council to create a Police Income Tax Fund
· State Law requires a separate fund for the new Income Tax dollars