Village voters face 2 renewals on ballot
By Ashley Luthern
New Middletown village officials are seeking the support of two renewal levies that fund the police department.
Voters will see on the Nov. 6 ballot a five-year, 2-mill renewal levy for police services to raise $48,053 annually and a five-year, 4-mill renewal levy for police services to raise $96,106 annually.
The 2-mill renewal levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $61.20 annually, while the 4-mill renewal levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home $121.96 annually, for a combined total of $183.16, according to the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office.
Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio said these two levies make up about 75 percent of funding for the department. A third levy makes up the remainder.
“These are renewals. We aren’t asking for any new taxes, and we have the support of the mayor and council. We want to keep the village safe,” he said.
The police department is staffed by four part-time officers and four full-time officers, including the chief.
Each part-time officer is paid for the actual hours he or she works following these hourly pay rates: sergeant, $13.21; patrol with less than one year of experience, $11.49; patrol with at least one year of department experience, $12.03; and patrol with at least three years’ department experience, $12.60.
The village signs contracts with each full-time employee. Annual salaries for the department’s sergeant is $39,754, and the two patrolmen salaries are $30,296 and $29,702, according to village records.
The chief draws a yearly salary of $50,419.
All four full-time police contracts call for a 1 percent raise Jan. 1, 2013, and a 2 percent raise Jan. 1, 2014.
The chief said the pay grades are in line with other small communities and are among the lowest in the county. A survey of public records on the Government Watch section of Vindy.com supports that assertion.
“We want to remain very active and proactive instead of reactive policing,” D’Egidio said.
He said the department has noticed an uptick in drug activity in the village.
“For a small village over the last couple of months, we’ve seen an increase in heroin and crimes related to our younger people going into the city to purchase drugs and bringing problems back here,” he said. “Thankfully we haven’t had the violence, just the threats of violence.”