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Banks law enforcement levy set for May ballot

Residents vote whether to renew WCSO contract

Banks residents will soon have the chance to vote on whether they’d like to renew the city’s levy that pays for policing services from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The issue is on the May ballot and is open to residents within the city limits.

The renewed levy would last for five years, beginning in fiscal year 2017-2018. If passed, the levy would cost property owners an estimated $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. So the owner of a $100,000 property would pay $235 a year.

The city has contracted policing services the WCSO since 2006. Deputy Todd Hanlon has served as Banks’ primary full-time officer and chief of police since 2011. Hanlon works about 40 hours a week in Banks and the WCSO also provides extra policing for some weekend and night work.

Services include response to 911 calls, as well as crime prevention and law enforcement, work with youth and school programs, investigation of crimes, traffic enforcement, neighborhood nuisance enforcement, enforcement of city ordinances, court bailiff services and other city-specific policing duties.

It’s possible the city will request more policing services, but it would not cost residents any more money. That’s because the city has incorporated more land into its city limits in recent years. A portion of the taxes paid on those properties will now go to the city, including taxes on Quail Valley Golf Course property, which was annexed in 2014.

There will also be more residents paying property taxes and more people in need of police services as land inside the city’s Urban Growth Boundary is developed, so the city will continue to assess whether they need more staff from WCSO.

If the levy fails, Banks would be without policing services.