Austintown voters rejected a police levy on Tuesday. Now the department needs to determine how many officers can stay on the force and what cuts the township will have to make.
Trustee Jim Davis is frustrated. This levy for the police department failed by just 18 votes and there won’t be a recount.
Davis said the township has to find other ways to make cuts and save money.
“The residents have spoken loud and clear that they’re satisfied with paying less and wanting more, so we’re going to have to look and say, ‘Well, where do we cut?'”
He said repaving roads, special programs like the police department’s K9 unit and jobs are all on the line now.
“It could potentially be road workers, it could be clerical workers, it could be anything that if we have to talk layoffs, that we need to sit down and take a look at it.”
He said this levy was a replacement for an outdated one from the 90s, but it also added some additional money for the police department. That would, in turn, free up the department’s use of the general fund.
That’s something Davis said was much needed for the other township departments.
“Because of state budget cuts, unfortunately, we’ve lost almost $2 million a year over the past three years.”
As far as the 18 votes the levy missed, Davis wonders who else they could have talked to or convinced. He said he has at least one idea.
“We have employees that work for the township that don’t live within the township. If they were living within the township and would have been able to vote for it, it very well could have passed.”
Davis said the township will work to get this levy back on the ballot in November.