HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN) — Voters will weigh in on a measure to renew a levy to fund police services in Happy Valley during Tuesday’s special election.
The levy has been in place for 17 years. It funds services like patrols, 911 dispatch and school safety but those services could cease if residents vote “no” on Measure 3-551.
The measure asks voters if they want to renew a levy to provide police services for the next 5 years. The measure failed by one vote in 2014 but passed again when it was put back on the ballot in 2015.
There’s no tax increase with the levy. It’s still $1.38 per $1,000 of assessed value. For example, if your home is worth $350,000, the homeowner would pay $438 a year for police services.
Happy Valley currently has 14 officers through a partnership with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
“We partner with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and that allows us 14 police officers,” said Steve Campbell, the city’s public safety director. “We have 2 more that are coming out of training that we asked for that will start March of 2020.”
But the city won’t have enough money to pay that contract if Measure 3-551 doesn’t pass.
“We won’t have dedicated patrols in our city,” said Campbell. “Obviously, if someone calls 911, they will respond to emergencies but those deputies are responding outside of Happy Valley.”
Signs posted throughout the city of Happy Valley encouraged residents to vote “yes” on the measure. The mayor was also in favor of it.
“Please vote ‘yes’ for our levy for our dedicated police department,” said Happy Valley Mayor Tom Ellis. “It’s just imperative that we have them here to keep our city safe.”
Ellis was fairly confident the levy would pass on Tuesday night.
“I think the citizens of Happy Valley are smart enough to know we need a dedicated police department,” he said.