Austintown anticipates cutbacks after levy defeat - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Austintown anticipates cutbacks after levy defeat

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AUSTINTOWN TWP., Ohio -

Austintown leaders have some decisions to make after unofficial totals show a police levy was rejected at the polls on Tuesday.

Austintown Police came up short on support Tuesday, but not by much. The $2.4 mill replacement levy lost by only 18 votes.  A glimmer of hope rests with the fact there are 31 provisional ballots still to be verified and tabulated.  

Township leaders anticipated a close vote, but feel what may have tipped the scale was the loss of the second shift at GM Lordstown.

"We realized then that could change a close outcome. I mean, we expected it to be close, and I'm sure that influenced the election," Michael Dockry, Township Administrator said. 

In promoting the police levy, the township told voters it was just to maintain the current status of services. "Because the state has reduced our income over the years. In order to maintain services, we needed additional money," Dockry said.

A levy is the townships only means of raising more money, and without it, the police chief says cutbacks will be needed.

"We have some officers retiring and we probably won't replace those officers. We'll just have to sit down and look to see where we're going to make the cuts," said Chief Bob Gavalier. 

Unless by some chance the provisional votes change things, the outlook is not good.  "Maybe through the end of this year we'll be able to maintain services, but definitely we won't be able to in 2019," according to Dockry.

The tally of provisional votes is expected before the end of the month. If the margin should shrink to just a couple of votes there could be an automatic recount. 

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