If Pataskala voters pass an income-tax measure in May, 75 percent of funds would be used for the police department.

If Pataskala voters pass an income-tax measure in May, 75 percent of funds would be used for the police department.

Pataskala City Council on March 22 voted to approve the allocation that would provide the police department with enough money to employ 15 police officers in 2011, with the remainder going to the streets department.

If the 1-percent income-tax request is approved May 4, the police department would receive about $1-million of the estimated $1.4-million to be collected in 2011.

The collections in 2011 are estimated to be only about 65 percent of the total. Officials have said it would take about three years for the income tax to collect at 100 percent -- about $2.1-million annually.

Council member Bernard Brush voted against the allocation ordinance, and Brian Raybourne was absent again.

Those in favor of the ordinance have said the legislation was proposed to give voters more information.

"This (is) council's good-faith effort to respond to the feedback it received during the public open-forum sessions and the feedback we received after several meetings of discussing this issue," Councilman Bryan Lenzo said. "Folks want to know where the money is going to go."

Though council voted to approve the ordinance, which decides the allocation for 2011, members still debated about the funds in which the money would be placed.

"The way I understand it, it is general-fund dollars," finance director Jason Carr said. "I have seen municipalities do it both ways. It depends on the budget process. I guess there really is no right or wrong answer."

He said it would be easiest if council would allocate the money to both the police and streets funds prior to their receipt rather than having to ask council to transfer the general-fund revenues to each fund.

Brush said he had concerns about it because the police and streets funds were set up for property-tax levy funds -- not income-tax revenues.

"I don't think you can put anything in that that isn't a result of that property millage," he said. "I raise this concern as well."

Carr said council could create separate police and streets funds in which to place the income-tax revenue.

Despite the debate, council members approved the legislation without deciding on which funds the possible income-tax revenue would be placed in.

"I know I have consistently stated that at least for the year 2011, we need to be transparent and tell voters exactly what we are talking about," council member Merissa McKinstry said. "I support in the following years letting the budgeting process do its job."

In other matters, council members again heard comments from residents of the city's The Oaks subdivision, who continue express opposition to the fees officials are asking them to pay to link in with the sewer system.

Council voted to increase the city's contribution to 10 percent.

Scott Starzyk, who lives at 182 Oak Canyon Drive, said he was thankful that council had waived the $3,150 capacity fee last fall but said residents still want sewer assessments capped at $10,000.

"I'd like to reiterate my appreciation for waiving capacity fees ... as it was the right and just thing to do, based (merely) on the fact that the project should have been completed over 40 years ago when there was not a capacity fee," Starzyk said. "Thank you for reaching out to The Oaks residents with the additional 8 percent. It's not what a lot of residents would like to see, but any extra help ... would be beneficial, and we do appreciate it."