Washingtonville will put three levies on fall ballot

WASHINGTONVILLE — Village council will put three new levies before residents in November to battle a lack of general fund money.

Council recently agreed to place on the November ballot three separate 2.5-mill, five year levies for police, roads and general operation.

Village Council last year enacted a .5 percent income tax after residents rejected several operating levies, but residents then voted in November 2018 to remove the tax. Talks among council members regarding reinstating the income tax was met with threats of council member recalls and initiatives to dissolve the village.

Mayor Herman Frank said of the new levies that residents will now have the chance to vote how their increased taxes would specifically be spent.

“We’re listening to the public,” he said. “There were residents who said if we put levies on the ballot and be specific about where that money would be spent, they’d back it. So now we’ll see.”

Frank said the council is seeking the police levy because officers are not being paid competitive wages and that leaves the department’s roster constantly in turnover. He said the roads fund is too low to properly maintain the streets and the operating fund will always be low due to costs continuing to increase.

“It’s specific areas within the budget, not the overall budget,” Frank explained. “But if you don’t have money, you can’t operate a village.”

Frank has repeatedly noted the village is operating on an outdated levy that is over 20 years old.

Several attempts to contact Fiscal Officer Dale Davis for an explanation of the levies were unsuccessful.