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Brunswick Council talks permanent safety levy

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BRUNSWICK — City officials want to make a five-year levy that funds safety forces a permanent levy and voters could see the issue on the ballot sometime this year.

If passed, there will be no increase to taxpayers. It does mean that a stream of funding will no longer need voter approval.

At Monday’s Safety and Environment committee meeting, Council members began discussing a timeline for putting the issue on the ballot

The current safety levy in question was originally passed in May 2009. It was passed twice as a four-year levy. In 2017, it was passed as a five-year levy, which will end in 2022.

It is a 0.65-percent income levy that helps the police and fire departments to maintain staffing levels. It brings in $6.5 million annually and helps pay for the 40 police officers and 26 firefighter paramedics in the city along with the 24-hour operation of the safety service departments.

“It’s my understanding … that what the city manager would like to do is take the existing five-year levy and make it a permanent levy … it would be a permanent renewal, not an increase,” said Councilman Joe Salzgeber, Ward 3.

In other news

Council discussed the contract between the city and Brunswick Hills Township for police and fire dispatch.

“We have been providing dispatch services for Brunswick Hills for the past 12 years, I believe all under three-year contracts,” police Chief Brian Ohlin said.

The city is now able to finalize the dispatch contract with Brunswick Hills after trustees voted recently to renew the contract with the city.

This came after months of discussion about possibly going with another dispatch service because of concerns over the quality of services.

“Trustees are going to be signing that and upon my recommendation the city manager will approve this,” said Ohlin.

The Safety and Environment Committee approved legislation related to the contract, which paves the way for full Council approve the three-year contract at its next meeting.

Contact Alyssa Alfano at aalfano@medina-gazette.com.


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