LACROFT - Trustees from Liverpool Township unanimously approved the drafting of a resolution requesting a portion of the revenues from Ohio casinos at their meeting Monday evening.
The resolution will be sent to county commissioners stating that casino revenues should be divided amongst municipalities in the county according to the same formula that governs the apportionment of Local Government Funds from Columbus.
Board Chairman Karl "Butch" Kontnier said the money from casinos in Toledo and Cleveland could provide a much-needed source of revenue for townships that have seen their state funding shrink drastically over recent years. "They took money away from all of us, and we're looking for ways to get some of it back," he said.
Kontnier pointed out that several other cities, townships and villages in the county, facing similar funding shortfalls, have already pleaded their case to county commissioners. "We might as well do what everybody else is doing," he said. "There's no sense in being bashful."
Along similar lines, township fiscal officer Cristine Sell said that concerns regarding the township's ability to pay for its police department were raised at a meeting of the County Budget Commission at the county auditor's office on Sept. 26. She said she reminded them of the police levy on the November ballot.
Kontnier made a plea for the residents of Liverpool Township to support the levy on election day next month. "This is essential for us to continue with our police department," he said. He cited the rising costs of everything from gasoline for cruisers to health insurance for officers, coupled with cuts in state funding, in making the continuing function of the department increasingly difficult.
Burgess wanted to address comments he has heard stating that residents should let the levy fail and the police department be disbanded, because officers from St. Clair Township and East Liverpool Police could answer any calls. He explained that, by law, police departments may assist other departments on calls when backup is requested, but are not permitted to directly answer calls in another municipality. Instead, the call would revert to the Sheriff's Department in Lisbon, which is also experiencing its own budgetary squeeze. "I ask the residents to educate themselves and make a sound decision on what it's actually going to cost them," he said.
Kontnier said that any resident with questions about the levy to contact Chief Burgess or any of the trustees to discuss the matter with them personally. "We'd be glad to discuss it," he said.
Spring Grove Cemetery caretaker Jeff Moore stated that concrete flower vases had been stolen from a pair of graves in the township's portion of the grounds. He also reported that clippings and shrubbery had been seen dumped in the cemetery. Chief Burgess said that patrolmen do make regular rounds through the cemetery, and Moore confirmed seeing township cruisers on a regularly basis. Still, Kontnier suggested increasing the number of nighttime and weekend patrols whenever possible.
In other business:
* A used tire collection will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the township garage on Digman Alley in LaCroft. Only passenger car and light truck tires will be accepted; no tractor, semi-truck or other heavy equipment tires.