Circleville Township Safety Levy

Circleville Township has put a levy on the November 3rd, 2020 ballot to raise money to contract with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office for a dedicated deputy. Circleville Township already has a contract with the Sheriff’s Office to provide general coverage. Providing police coverage is a responsibility of the township, and this is satisfied with the current arrangement with the Sheriff’s Office. As far as I understand most or all of the other townships already have a similar arrangement with the Sheriff’s Office to provide general coverage.

However, from time to time, Circleville Township residents have expressed a need for additional coverage to address issues such as car break-ins, speeding, and reckless driving. The Sheriff’s Office does respond to these issues, but it usually results in a temporary bump-up in patrols. The Sheriff’s Office won’t spend weeks on a car break-in investigation, or allocate a full time patrol for a specific problem area. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for a large county, and it’s understandably hard to be everywhere all the time. At the end of the day, our Township’s needs have to be weighed against the needs of the entire county. Although, it’s super annoying to have our cars broken into for the third time in 2 weeks, that priority has to be balanced with serious auto accidents, violent crime, and high value theft.

The proposed levy would provide about $94,000 in additional funds, which the township has to use for police coverage. They intend to do that by entering into a contract with the Sheriff’s Office for a dedicated deputy. The funding would cover salary, benefits & insurances, equipment, and other typical expenses associated with a deputy. (See the levy for specific verbiage about what it could be used for.) This levy was initiated by the Township in response to resident requests for a higher level of coverage.

This page is a summary of what I’ve witnessed being discussed over the last year in regards to this levy and intended contract. It only represents my observations and understandings, and it does not represent an official position from any official or office unless otherwise stated. I’ve included contact information for most of those involved, and I recommend contacting them directly for comment or questions.

What will the levy get us?

If the levy passes, the township will enter into a contract for one full-time deputy to be dedicated to Circleville Township. What this means for the township is, for one deputy, Circleville Township will be his/her highest priority. That time will be split between patrol, investigation, and community education. Scioto Township, home of Southern Point, is in a similar arrangement with the Sheriff’s Office. I’ve talked to one of their trustees, and he said the engagement drastically reduced certain crime-based issues within the township.

What will it cost?

For a house appraised at $150,000, the annual cost would be $65.63, or about $5.50 per month.

Appraised ValueTaxable ValueCost of the 1.25 mill levy
$50,000$17,500$21.88
$75,000$26,250$32.81
$100,000$35,000$43.75
$125,000$43,750$54.69
$150,000$52,500$65.63
$175,000$61,250$76.56
$200,000$70,000$87.50
$225,000$78,750$98.44
$250,000$87,500$109.38
$275,000$96,250$120.31
$300,000$105,000$131.25
$325,000$113,750$142.19
$350,000$122,500$153.13
$375,000$131,250$164.06
$400,000$140,000$175.00
Numbers from Mellissa Betz, Pickaway County Auditor, provided at an August 3rd, 2020 Circleville Township meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the levy favor one Sheriff’s candidate over another?

No. As far as I understand from meetings, the contract won’t even be finalized until after the election. Once the contract is signed, the contract will be with the Sheriff’s Office, not with a specific person or candidate.

Don’t we already pay for police coverage?

We do, just like all the other townships and some municipalities. This contract is covered through our property tax. That level of support doesn’t get us a dedicated officer, like Scioto Township has, though. Therefore, coverage must be considered against all their other priorities in the County.

What happens when the dedicated deputy is off-duty?

We still get the same Sheriff’s coverage that we have now, in addition to the dedicated the deputy. The dedicated deputy would focus on investigation, patrol, and community education for the township that is would be in addition to the existing shared service. At least, this is how the Scioto Township contract works, and all discussions have been about replicating that arrangement.

Will we lose police coverage if it fails?

No. Our existing contract will stay in place.

Can the money be used for other things?

No. By law, it can only be used for what it was passed for. See the levy text for the specifics. The money must be used for law enforcement; however, the township still has discretion to manage the money appropriately. For example, if the township discovered that we’d actually benefit from 2 part-time deputies or wanted to add extra funding from the general fund to go to 2 full-time deputies, they would have that flexibility, as long as it’s used for law enforcement.

Can we trust the township to manage the money?

Absolutely. I’ve been attending township meetings off and on for three years. They are conservative with money, and they don’t waste it. Often, they go above and beyond to apply for State, County, and private grants to expand the leverage of our tax revenue. For example, they’ve received grants for park improvements at the Logan Elm Village Park and recently received a 6 figure grant for improvements to handle water flow issues in the Dunkle Road area.

Can we trust the trustees to be responsive to our needs when it comes to police issues?

Yes. Many times over the last 3 years, I’ve seen them be responsive to the resident’s issues. They respond well to in-person attendance at their meetings and to phone calls to their personal phone numbers. This includes issues related to water drainage, park improvements, road repair, long grass complaints, junk complaints, etc. I anticipate if residents have issues that require law enforcement assistance, the township will attempt to prioritize those concerns.

Contact Information

If you have questions, contact your officials.

PositionNamePhone Number
TrusteeBob Kuhlwein(740) 384-8305
TrusteeErnie Enoch(740) 248-2460
TrusteeDale Bower(740) 207-0541
Fiscal OfficerBrenda Palm(740) 412-5120
Pickaway County AuditorMelissa A Betz(740)-474-4765
Pickaway County
Board of Elections
Matthew Nicklas(740) 474-8077
SheriffRobert Radclfiff(740) 474-2176
Sheriff CandidateMatt HaffeyTBD

Text of Levy

Circleville Township
PROPOSED TAX LEVY (ADDITIONAL)

A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage An additional tax for the benefit of Circleville Township for the purpose of providing and maintaining motor vehicles, communications, other equipment, buildings, and sites for such buildings used directly in the operation of a police department, for the payment of salaries of permanent or part-time police, communications, or administrative personnel to operate the same, including the payment of any employer contributions required for such personnel under section 145.48 or 742.33 of the Revised Code, for the payment of the costs incurred by townships as a result of contracts made with other political subdivisions in order to obtain police protection, for the provision of ambulance or emergency medical services operated by a police department, or for the payment of other related costs within Circleville Township at a rate not exceeding 1.25 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.125 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a continuing period of time, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.

This website and post are run and paid for by me, Jon Hogue. I try to be as accurate as possible, but please verify all statements with an authoritative source. The views expressed in this post are my own, and don’t represent the opinions of anybody else.