Members of Wellston City Council conducted the first reading of an item of legislation during this week's meeting pertaining to a proposed new tax levy for the benefit of the Wellston Police Department (WPD).
Though the legislation was presented in emergency fashion during the Thursday, May 18 council meeting, there were not enough council members present to handle the resolution as such. The resolution in question requests the Jackson County Auditor to certify the total tax valuation and revenue that would be generated from an additional 1.5-mill levy for police personnel and equipment.
WPD Chief Tim Ackley told The Telegram, though the legislation is worded so as to address both personnel and equipment for his department, the levy is solely meant to provide the WPD with an additional full-time officer. Currently, the department has a total of seven full-time and two part-time employees. Chief Ackley stated there are many scenarios that could potentially arise where only having one officer on a particular shift -- which is the case on occasion -- could prove to be problematic, and that adding this additional officer would solve at least some of those issues.
City Service Director Bill Shumate further explained that the legislation is worded to include equipment at the request of City Law Director Shannon Weber. He also echoed Chief Ackley's statements in that this proposed tax levy is meant only to provide the city with an additional full-time officer.
Another first reading was conducted Thursday night for the 1-mill renewal levy for the operation and maintenance of the Wellston Fire Department (WFD). This resolution was likewise presented in emergency fashion, but was also unable to be handled as such.