BAZETTA TOWNSHIP Levies' approval allows police to reinstate officers, secretary
A five-year plan will be created to ensure the money will be spent properly, the police chief said.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Sheila V. Monteneri says she can now breath easier.
Monteneri, owner of Custom Floral Designs, 2193 state Route 305, said passage of the two township police levies means that township officers will once again be providing weekend patrols.
"I am so glad that our officers will be working again because it does make me feel much safer," Monteneri said. "The community spoke, and I think the community realized that we need these officers here."
Levy passed: Voters approved an additional 1.8-mill, five-year renewable levy that will generate $257,000 a year for five years; and renewed a 0.6-mill, five-year levy that will generate $68,000 a year.
The township had to suspend weekend patrols a few months ago because of a lack of funds. The township had to lay off two officers and did not have enough officers to work the weekends, trustees said. The Trumbull County Sheriff's Department handled weekend calls, officials said.
Because the levies passed Tuesday, the officers will be called back to work and the weekend patrols will resume, trustees said. The township has five full-time officers.
Trustees met Tuesday and voted unanimously to bring the two officers and the police department's full-time secretary back to work. The officers will come back to work Sunday and the secretary will start today, Police Chief Robert Jacola said.
"Even though we won't get the money until next year, we are able to bring back the employees now because the township's general fund will cover the cost," Jacola said. "When the money comes in next year, we will pay back the general fund."
Top priority: The chief and township Trustee William O. Glancy said their top priority is to make sure the residents receive the "best possible service."
"We are committed to using this money properly," Jacola said. "We are going to create a five-year plan to make sure the money is spent wisely."
Trustees Michael G. Piros and Glancy agreed, saying they will monitor the police department's budget closely.
The trustees noted that the department's shortfall was caused by a dramatic increase in health insurance costs over the last two years.