Support South Point operating expense levy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

It takes money to run a village, and unfortunately for many that money is not always guaranteed.

When it comes to municipalities, villages are at the bottom of the food chain, so to speak. A downturn in the economy can make that position even worse.

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Next Tuesday, leaders in the Village of South Point are asking voters to renew a 3-mil general operating levy. If passed, this levy would not raise taxes, it would merely be a continuation of taxes residents are already paying.

South Point voters should support this levy so they can continue receiving the basic services that are afforded to them.

According to village records, the levy provides for approximately 25 percent of the total general fund revenue. The police department, street lights, parks and recreation, community center and spring and fall village cleanups are funded solely through the fund. Expenses not related to other specific funds, such as special community events, flags, audit expenses and a portion of all elected officials' salaries are also included.

Meager resources can trigger a host of problems for villages and, because of their size, their problems can be magnified. For example, when cities have to make cuts, they usually lay off a few employees, which is a bad thing. When your entire workforce is only a handful of people, though, cutbacks may mean elimination of essential services such as the police department.

In South Point, this would be detrimental as the village has already had to lay off officers when voters rejected a new 3-mil levy last November when grants supporting the department ran dry.

Like most villages, South Point gets very little revenue from taxes and other sources such as grants. The few dollars a year you would be paying - which you are already paying - would be a good investment.

We hope South Point residents will approve the 3-mil operating levy on Tuesday, easing some of the economic problems the village faces. We would hate to see the village, forced by economic pressures, to have to abolish much-needed services.