Attica voters to decide police dept. levy May 7

ATTICA — Voters in the village of Attica are to decide on a levy for police protection May 7.

The five-year, 8-mill levy is an additional tax for the benefit of Attica village for the purpose of police protection, commencing in 2019 and first due in 2020, according to information from Seneca County Board of Elections.

Attica Councilman George Yakoubian said previously there were two 3-mill, five-year levies that funded the police department. A 5-mill levy to replace one of the 3-mill levies failed to pass in last year’s May and November elections.

Yakoubian said the police department was having a hard time trying to fund itself, so they are attempting to replace the two 3-mill levies with one 8-mill levy. 

He said if the levy passes, the revenue wouldn’t come in until 2020. Because one levy has expired, he said the village doesn’t have enough funds to operate the police department at the present time, he said.

“We would be able to restart the police department. It has basically been on hiatus for now,” Yakoubian said.

Attica Councilman Louis Sanders said money generated by the other 3-mill levy is being used to pay the police department’s share of village hall expenses as well as unemployment to the former police chief, but it is to expire at the end of the year. He said times are changing and just like everything else, prices go up.

“That’s why we need the levy because you can’t run a police department on 3 mills. There’s no way,” Sanders said. “It’s hard enough to try to run it on 6 mills. That’s why we’re trying it on 8 mills.”

According to information provided by the Seneca County Auditor’s Office, the levy is to generate $108,609 annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $280 per year.

Sanders said the village doesn’t have anybody to enforce village ordinances so a police department is needed. He said if voters don’t pass an 8-mill levy, council can’t try to pass a 3-mill levy again.

“If we don’t get this levy passed, I think we might not ever have a police department ever again,” Sanders said.

Yakoubian said, as always, people are encouraged to come and talk about any concerns at council meetings. He said people who have questions about the police levy should attend the next council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.