Eugene L. Downing
Ashley Village Council asked residents for new money for its police force, and voters gave a nod of approval at the ballot box Tuesday.
Eighty people (61.54 percent) voted to approve the police levy and 50 people (38.46 percent) voted against it, according to complete, but unofficial results.
The levy will provide additional funding to deal with increased operating costs and ease the burden on the village’s general fund, village mayor Jim Nelson said.
Complete but unofficial results rolled in at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Nelson was asleep when the results were reported, but his wife woke him up Tuesday night with news of the levy’s passage.
“I’m certainly very pleased that it passed,” Nelson said. “Ashley is no different from any other city or village. We have crime like anyone else. We won’t be able to stop it, but we can make it a better place to live.”
A tough year for any tax issue, especially an increase, Nelson said he was hopeful that the issue would pass.
Voters already support a 5-mill levy that costs the owner of a $100,000 house $153.13 in annual taxes. Tuesday’s levy approval will add an additional $30.62 in new annual taxes for a total of $183.75 a year.
The levy raises $85,848 a year, which doesn’t cover the entire department, but village council members knew there would be no chance of passing a levy that completely funded the police force — three full-time and two part-time officers, Nelson said.
Village Council President Cheryl Friend said since village residents made it clear last summer about keeping the police force, the ballot issue was one way that the council could accommodate having safety officers for Ashley.
“I am very appreciative residents did come out today and exercise their right to vote in the election and voice their opinion,” Friend said.
Levy collections will begin in 2012.
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