ELYRIA — The Lorain County commissioners approved placing a levy on the November ballot for the county crime and drug lab.
The 0.08-mill, five-year levy would generate about $595,000 annually. The levy would cost $2.80 annually for a $100,000 home.
The lab tests drugs seized by police during investigations. It has had a difficult time covering the costs of the testing and is projected to be over budget again this year just as it was last year.
If passed, the levy will help with getting the lab out of the red as well as provide funding for more testing, equipment, staffing and other costs in the next five years.
County Commissioner Matt Lundy said the funding for the crime lab will be helpful in working to ensure its ability to effectively operate during the opioid crisis.
“We’re certainly in an epidemic here and when these crimes happen and when people die, people want answers, and the crime lab plays a very important part in helping with our investigations,” he said.
The commissioners discussed the issue last year to determine how much the levy could generate to make a better decision before putting it on the ballot. The county faced pushback from the public in 2016, rejecting a property tax to support the county coroner and the county crime and drug lab.
Commissioner Sharon Sweda said she feels confident that they might be able to get the levy passed this year due to its low millage.
“The public is very aware in the need that we have for the addiction crisis we’re facing, and I think that they’ll recognize the value in this, and any shortfall isn’t going to matter in helping us in the long run,” she said.