Bazetta Police Department could return to full force as soon as Sunday.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
WARREN -- Trumbull County voters rallied behind fire, police and emergency workers this election, passing every one of 12 tax levies for emergency services across the county.
The vote was closest in Bazetta, where the police department and township trustees asked voters for a second time to approve the 1.8-mill additional levy they rejected in May.
The money will be used to restore two full-time officers and a secretary, who were laid off from the department when funds ran out in September.
With the layoffs, Bazetta Police Department had five full-time officers, including the chief, patrolling the streets. Weekend patrols especially suffered.
The levy, which will collect $257,000 a year for five years, passed with 51 percent of the vote.
With the levy in place, the Bazetta police can resume "providing the service we need to provide," said Chief Robert Jacola.
Township trustees were to meet today to discuss when the laid-off employees can be brought back to work. Jacola said that the department could resume 24-hour service seven days a week as soon as Sunday.
Reasons: The police budget shortfall was caused by a dramatic increase in health insurance costs over the last two years, said Trustee Michael G. Piros, who, along with Trustee William O. Glancy, retained his seat in the election.
"We will stay on top of it," Piros said. "We will monitor that department's budget and finances very closely."
Money also will be used to replace the department's patrol cars, all of which have more than 200,000 miles on them, he said.
In Hubbard Township, the passage of a police levy that will raise $160,000 a year for three years will allow the department to keep two officers after the grants that supported their positions run out in 2002.
"This is a big relief," said Trustee Joseph Gleydura. "We set up the levy to try to get what we need right now."
That levy passed with 57 percent of the vote.