A Message from Mayor Susan C. Renda
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Fortunately, the Village consistently used conservative fiscal management practices in the past so we had built up healthy reserves that we have relied on. However, those reserves are projected to be below 25% of our annual expenditures by the end of the year. This is lower than the amount we should have for emergencies; furthermore, this pattern is not sustainable over the long run. In light of these realities, we believe we have no choice but to ask for an increase in the Police & Fire Levy to bring revenue more in line with expenditures and maintain the fiscal health of the Village.
One example of an emergency situation which will require major expenditures on the part of the Village is a landslide which is evolving along Route 87 near Chagrin River Road. This landslide is beginning to undermine the road and, thus, requires prompt attention. Current estimates to stabilize the slope are about $1.3 million although our engineer is looking for ways to decrease that cost and is looking for outside funding sources.
The levy was last raised in 1998 from two mills to three. The Village Council has proposed asking the residents to increase the Safety Levy by three mills, which would generate an additional $750,000 for an approximate total of $1.5 million in revenue dedicated to safety services. Each one mill would cost a home-owner $35 per $100,000 property valuation. The proposed increase of three mills will be put before the residents for consideration at the upcoming November election.
The proposed increase of three mills will be used for the purchase and upkeep of law enforcement vehicles and equipment, payment for Fire and EMS, services by Chagrin Falls Suburban Fire Department, and general operations of the Police Department. This proposed increase, if approved, will provide the Police Department with much needed funds to continue providing the same excellent services going forward that they have always provided in the past.
Council Members and I will hold an informational meeting in late summer to discuss this as a community. I will continue to write about this matter in my monthly newsletters. In the meantime if you have any questions, please contact me at 440.248.1188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.