LIMA — This was not the response the Allen County Board of Commissioners expected to receive when it prepared the most recent proposal it had developed.
Commissioners held another central dispatch center in Ohio Means Jobs on Monday.
This was at least the fifth meeting on a project to house all fire and police departments in the city and township of Allen County, to create a faster process from when someone calls the 911 and when a unit is dispatched to its location.
After the previous allocation meeting, the commissioners felt that with final adjustments to the funding formula following a generally pleasant meeting, they could reach a final agreement. Then the opposite happened.
Allen County Townships Association President Howard Violet voiced the objections of the majority of townships. Violet said they believe the funding is unfair, especially when it comes to those providing their own police services.
“The proposed funding formula is based on calls for service, including police, which we believe have been excluded in the past in the calculation,” Violet said. “The responsibility to provide police coverage for the county, including the townships, rests with the county. Cantons that voluntarily provide police coverage to their residents do so at their residents’ expense. They should not be penalized for helping to reduce the burden of police coverage on the county. “I can argue that the townships not only are not charged for the apportionment associated with police calls, but are in fact credited for those calls.”
The townships say the county’s tax rate of 6.75% is well below average and ranks 54th out of Ohio’s 88 counties. They suggested a tax levy be put on the ballot and said they would help ensure it passed.
The commissioners could be in favor of the idea of adding a tax levy, on the understanding that the cantons would be required to put the levies on the ballot and have them passed.
“I guess we go back to the board. I heard a strong desire for sampling. I can only speak for myself, but I see no reason to oppose the idea,” said Commissioner Beth Seibert. “That, however, needs to be taken care of by the local government.”
At the end of the day, the commissioners will go back to the drawing board and weigh all the considerations before unveiling their next proposal.
Allen County Townships Association President Howard Violet explains the townships association’s objections to the commissioners’ dispatch funding proposal at Monday afternoon’s county dispatch meeting in the ODJFS in Lima.
Commissioner Cory Noonan responds to a remark on the most recent proposal unveiled at Monday afternoon’s expedition fundraising meeting at the ODJFS.