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Colerain Township police levy narrowly passes

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- Colerain Township covers 45 square miles and has a population of around 58,000 people.

Wednesday night's police levy passed by just 11 votes.  A look at the numbers and the police department is treating the vote as a victory, even though  there will be a recount.  The police department says the vote sends a powerful message.

At the Sweet Heart Cafe in Colerain Township, the owner is happy the police levy passed even though it costs the owner of a 100,000 dollar home an additional 68 dollars a year.

"I understand taxes are tough the economy is tough, I opened this business a year ago.  But when you look at issues like fire, police, teachers that require levies we need to get out and vote," said Judy Daleiden of the Sweet Heart Cafe.

It wasn't a resounding declaration of support, out of the 58,000 residents only 6,700 voted.  When Colerain Township ended its 375,000 dollar services contract with the Sheriff's Department last December, it had to ask residents to help them go at it alone by passing the levy.  Without it, the department would have laid off 9 officers with it.  Now, three more officers can be hired next year.  And three more the year after that.  The levy should carry the department until 2019.

"We're going to stretch it as far as we can, it's their money, important we treat it that way, and respect it," said Chief Mark Denney of the Colerain Township Police.

The police union agreed to a pay freeze through 2016.  And there won't be any cost of living increases until the year after that.  But the Chief gets the mixed message from the slight victory and low turnout.

"We got message from those who passed it  to move forward and the message from other side, need to step it up.  Show value of what we do," said Chief Denney.

Denney says the levy will allow the department to keep doing community programs such as Driving Angels, a teen drivers safety program.  Although the police department considers the levy vote a victory, the official result won't be certified until later this month


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