Police levy voted down
Last updated 11/5/2014 at 10:44am
Electric City voters Tuesday turned down a property tax levy that would have raised money to support police protection.
The vote was 90 yes votes (34 percent) and 170 no votes (65 percent).
Proposition 1 would have raised about $55,000 to $60,000, according to Mayor Jerry Sands, and cost a homeowner whose house is valued at $100,000 about $90 a year extra in property taxes. Coupled with the $80,000 now being spent by the city, this would have given the city about $140,000 for police services.
“We will have to see what the council wants to do now,” Sands stated after hearing the results Tuesday night.
The issue came up this past summer when Grand Coulee proposed a new law enforcement contract with Electric City the cost for which was 279 percent of the old five-year contract. That prompted Electric City officials to seek additional funding, possibly giving the city the option of having its own police department.
Last year (2013) Electric City’s contract with Grand Coulee was for $79,000. The new proposal made by Mayor Chris Christopherson called for a change to $209,000 for 2015, with incremental increases the next four years.
Electric City’s Mayor Jerry Sands explained to his council that the city only collects $122,000 a year in property taxes, the funds the city uses to pay for police protection.
A subsequent negotiation won a little breathing room for the two cities when the committees and later their councils agreed on $115,000 for 2015, giving the towns a year to come up with a contract offer they both could live with.