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Council approves police levy for ballot

SOUTH POINT — The South Point village council unanimously voted to put a 3-mill levy on the November ballot.

The levy would provide the South Point Police Department with more officers and a benefits package for its employees. The option of adding a fee to South Point residents’ water bill was previously discussed but that option was ultimately deemed illegal.

“We looked into it,” village attorney Randy Lambert told the council. “We were advised that you have to be chartered to access such a fee.”

This is not the first time a levy has been proposed by council for the police department. Three other times over the past 20 years police levies have been voted down. During a council meeting last month, however, residents from the village voiced concern over the growing crime rate in South Point.

The village has seen a rash of break ins and robberies so far in 2014 and council members believe the current criminal climate may change the outcome this time around.

“With the recent crime I do think it has a better chance than in previous years,” council member Mary Cogan said. “We are just going to have to wait and see what happens in November.”

The 3-mill levy will bring in a little more than $166,000 a year and will be continuous if passed. Property values in South Point range between $30,000 and $400,000. The costs for a homeowner with a house worth $75,000 would be approximately $78 a year.

Council weighed its options on the levy as long as it could. The deadline to get a levy on the ballot for the 2014 election season is today at 4 p.m.

“Yes, we waited until the last possible moment,” Cogan said. “We got it done just in time.”