BETHESDA-The Village of Bethesda is conducting an informational campaign regarding two levy proposals on the May 7 ballot.
Chief of Police and Village Administrator Jeremy Campbell says he hopes the brochures and door-to-door contact will help explain why the levies are important for the town.
The police levy is a continuous levy that funds the police department. The current levy has been in existence for around 30 years at the same tax base. Renewing the levy at the current tax base without changing the millage will allow the police department to provide more patrols, handle more complaints and be more proactive in deterring and addressing crime in the village, according to Campbell.
The Bethesda Police Department has been nationally recognized for its grant-funded Sexual Predator Internet Initiative (SPII) Program and electronic forensics lab and is now the third largest Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force in Ohio.
The street department levy is a replacement levy, meaning that it is not a continuous levy for services as is the police levy. The millage will remain at the current 1.5 mil rate, but will bring the tax base up to date. If the street department levy does not pass in this election, the town's only remaining opportunity for passing it will be in November. If it does not pass in either election, the village will not be able to operate a street department next year.
Revenue from this levy provides routine street maintenance such as filling pot holes. Many of Bethesda's streets will be repaved following the Water Improvement Project, but passing this levy will make sure they are kept in good repair and take care of those that will not be affected by the project.
"We're struggling with state budget cuts just like every other village," says Campbell. "These levies are long-term revenue for basic services. We're not raising millage, just getting up to date to meet increasing costs. We would sure appreciate the support."
For more information on the levies, residents can call 740-484-4009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valenti can be reached at email@example.com.