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Edwardsburg voters to weigh in on two important tax proposals

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. – A vote next week could determine the fate of the tiny Edwardsburg-Ontwa Township Police Department.

An emergency services renewal mil is on Edwardsburg resident’s ballot next to a proposal for extra police protection. Police Chief Kenneth Wray is worried ‘block voters’ could accidentally eliminate all police protection.

When Edwardsburg Police asked voters in May for extra money, the proposal got turned down by just 13 votes.

“You hate to lose your emergency services,” said Wray Monday. He said the one mil proposal for extra police protection is needed but isn’t as imperative as the emergency services renewal to keep the police department funded.

The 4-mil renewal includes police, fire and EMS protection for Edwardsburg and Ontwa Township.

“If they vote it all down, a year from now we won’t be here,” said Wray.

“I believe it’s a waste of money at this point,” said Robert Donnelly of both the renewal and extra police protection mil.

Donnelly is funding a ‘vote-no’ campaign in Edwardsburg and said keeping the department of six officers is a waste of money. Donnelly explained that overhead expenses are too high.

Donnelly said he would rather pay Cass County Sheriff’s Department officers for protection. “Have a steady car here all the time,” he said. “Have two steady officers and cut our payroll by a large amount of officers that don’t do anything.”

“Sure they could have an officer respond,” said Wray. “You’re still looking at anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes for an officer to arrive.” Wray said getting rid of Edwardsburg police and relying on Cass County and Michigan State Police officers for protection would increase response times.

The election will be held August 7th.

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