UNION CITY, Ohio - There are some disappointed village officials in Union City, Ohio, today.
The proposed .5 percent tax for police department operations levy failed at the polls on Tuesday, with an unofficial tally of 151 votes for it and 273 votes against it.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Mayor Scott Stahl. “Now, we’ll have to take a long, hard look at what we are going to do to keep our heads above water. Some services we provide now we may not be providing in the future, such as 24/7 police coverage, or plowing snow or picking up leaves. We now have two street workers and we used to have five; we had five full-time police officers and now have three.”
According to Stahl, the police department budget itself takes $200,000 to $225,000 out of the general fund.
“We always hope for the best,” he said. “But, in 2002 or 2004, there was an issue for the street department that was soundly defeated. I understand people are sick of paying taxes but we don’t have any other options. We have a low-tax base because there are so few businesses. That’s why our rates are high.”
He said there will be areas of services that will have to be cut.
“It’s that simple,” Stahl said. “We have to keep our heads above water and not operate in the red like the federal budget does.”
Union City, Ohio, Police Chief Jeff Baird felt basically the same way.
“It is disappointing, but it’s kind of understandable,” he said. “Everybody is taxed out.”
“I had a bad feeling,” remarked Clerk of Courts Kathy Marker. “I so hoped it would pass.”