July 29, 2015

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Sheffield Lake mayor pushes for tax increase to fund safety forces

This home at 4780 Pinewood Drive in Sheffield Lake was damaged by a fire early Saturday morning. Janet Earnhart was critically injured in the blaze that killed 7 pets. EVAN GOODENOW/CHRONICLE

Sheffield Lake’s mayor is using recent fires, such as this one at 4780 Pinewood Drive, as examples of why voters need to pass an income tax increase. EVAN GOODENOW/CHRONICLE

SHEFFIELD LAKE — At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Dennis Bring cited the recent fires and bank robbery in Sheffield Lake as examples of why the city needs to vote for a 0.5 percent income tax increase.

“This goes back to having money to have our safety forces be able to do their job,” Bring said at the meeting where he proposed the tax increase. If passed, the levy would give money to the Police and Fire departments. If not passed, the city might have to disband the full-time Fire Department and the residents’ insurance costs would rise.

“They’ll pay more for (insurance) than they would for the levy,” Bring said.

The levy would raise $500,000 annually and workers earning $50,000 each year would have to pay an additional $250. Despite the consequences of not passing the levy — namely cuts to safety departments — it lost by eight votes in November’s election and by 148 votes last May.

Bring is hopeful that the levy will go through, especially after a Chase Bank branch was robbed recently.

“It’s part of the reason we need more people on our force,” Bring said of the robbery, adding that there were only two police officers on duty when the robbery occurred.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


About Anna Merriman

Anna Merriman is the police reporter for the Chronicle-Telegram. She can be reached at 329-7245 or AMerriman@chroniclet.com.Follow her on Twitter.