Gaines Township voters overwhelmingly reject police special assessment

Gaines Township residents protest a township board decision to impose a $115 annual special assessment to pay for its police department.
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GAINES TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (11/5/2019) - Voters overwhelmingly rejected a special assessment on all properties that would have funded the Gaines Township Police Department.

Results show 1,276 people voted against the measure while 457 voted in favor of it.

Township board members proposed the $115 annual assessment for 10 years to help fund the police department's $262,000 budget.

The township had a 0.5-mill tax to fund police, but that expired and general fund money paid for the department instead. The Gaines Township Police Department had a full-time chief and two part-time officers then.

Gaines Township Supervisor Paul Fortino earlier said that failure of the special assessment likely would mean drastic cuts to the police department down to a level where general fund revenue could support it.