Liberty officials need to bolster police funding this summer


LIBERTY

Trustees must devise a way to bolster police funds from June to August, or the township may not have enough money to cover police payroll without going in a deficit.

Fiscal officer Steve Shelton told trustees Monday that it costs $120,000 a month for police payroll, and there is $138,000 available to spend in the police fund. So unless the township increases revenue or cuts expenses, the police fund may run out by the end of June, and won’t have any revenue until advances on real estate taxes are deposited in August, he said.

There is now $538,000 in the police budget, but the township owes its bank $400,000 by the end of June for a loan from earlier in the year for the police fund.

The township’s police fund started the year with a $75,000 deficit, Shelton said.

The shortfall at the beginning of this year occured because the $129,000 that Liberty made from its tow yard and speed cameras last year, which are both operated by police, all went to the general fund, police Chief Richard Tisone said.

Township police began using speed cameras on Interstate 80 last week, after a resolution was approved May 10 to allow police to enforce highway cameras and split the revenue 50/50 between police and the general fund. Tisone reported there was $11,678 in gross income made from the 116 speed tickets on Interstate 80 last week.

After expenses, however, Tisone said police and the township received about $3,944 each from last week. He believes the township should pay overtime costs and increase the split to 80/20.

Read MORE in Tuesday's VINDICATOR.

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