Bethel considering police levy for November ballot

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Bethel Village Council members discussed the need to place a police levy on the ballot this fall during their April 11 council meeting.

Councilwoman Donna Gunn said the finance committee feels there is a need for a levy, and brought the idea to council members.

Gunn said they understand that asking residents to pass a levy is a hard thing to do right now.

“We feel this is necessary,” Gunn said “We don’t want to do it, but for the health and welfare of the village we think it is something we need to do.”

Gunn said the committee had discussed a 7.9 mill levy, which she said Fiscal Officer Bill Gilpin estimated would cost residents $65 per year with a home valued at $75,000.

“Most of the other villages have much higher police levy rates than we do,” Gunn said.

She said the police department accounts for almost half of the general fund.

“There are things that need to be done, but can’t because of police,” Gunn said about village expenses.

Councilman Jeremiah Hembree, a member of the safety committee, said the committee also discussed the levy as it relates to the safety of the village.

Hembree said there is a lot of work to be done to get a levy on the ballot and pass the levy. He said the process is not enjoyable, but he also feels it is a necessity.

“This is a nominal cost for the benefit we receive,” Hembree said.

Council members did not take action on any legislation about the levy, but will discuss it further in the coming months.

According to the Clermont County Board of Elections website, the filing deadline for the Nov. 5 election will be Aug. 7.