NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are three police departments in Mahoning County asking for more money this Election Day: Austintown, Canfield and the smallest, New Middletown.
That police department has just four full-time staff members — which Chief Vincent D’Egidio says is just big enough, with the help of part-time officers — to patrol the village 24/7. They say the money they’re asking for is just to keep up with rising costs.
However, if voters there don’t pass an additional 2-mill property tax levy next Tuesday, the chief says they would have to cut back on part-time hours.
“There’s not going to be any big raises or added staff,” D’Egidio said. “Just maintaining the current professional excellence that the community is accustomed to receiving.”
Village leaders said they have tried using funding from other sources to make sure the police department stays fully staffed, using money from the general fund and other departments. But that it’s simply not enough.
“Unfortunately over the years, the cost of health insurance, vehicle maintenance and replacing vehicles has increased tremendously,” said Michelle Butler-Myers, a former New Middletown officer.
She said her village is dealing with the same problem that police across Ohio are seeing — more crimes related to the opiate epidemic. However, there’s less money from the state to deal with it.
“Over the past few years, our arrests have increased tremendously,” Butler-Myers said. “And a lot of those are drug-related.”
Here is more of an explanation of what a 2-millage increase means.
The median home price in New Middletown is just over $100,000. In Ohio, you can be taxed on 35 percent of that value.
In this case, your taxed valuation is $35,000. Two mills means 20 cents of tax for each $100 of that value.
So the new levy would cost the average homeowner in New Middletown $70 per year — or $5.83 per month.