It's unclear if another attempt is in the works for the Kent Police Department to raise money for a new police station via voter initiative following Tuesday's defeat of Issue 11, which would have paid to build a new safety building in Kent.
The issue, which would have raised Kent's income tax from 2 percent to 2.25 percent, failed by 923 votes, according to final but unofficial results from the Portage County Board of Elections.
Kent residents cast 4,240 votes for the tax increase and 5,163 against the tax, according to the board of elections.
Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee posted this message on the department's Facebook page this morning:
"Although Issue 11 didn't pass, I am pleased with the number of voters who were in support of the levy," Lee said. "To all of you 'Yes' voters out there, thank you. To those of you who voted 'No,' we hope to change your mind about the issue."
She said in a previous interview there is no immediate plan to put another type of tax increase on an upcoming ballot to build a new police station.
"To my knowledge there is no 'Plan B,'" Lee said. "And it's really not what the department does next, it's what the city decides to do. If they decide to put us in a building, (like) the Tops building ... where they put us or where we locate we'll do our best.
"Depending on how we operate and where we're actually located will affect our efficiencies," she said. "And it will affect how we operate and the way we service the community."
Kent Safety Director William Lillich said safety administrators will take the issue back to Kent City Council for consideration, the Record-Courier reported.
The roughly $1.3 million the tax increase would have generated each year would have paid for property acquisition, design, construction, maintenance and repairs, future expansion or replacement of a new police building.
The most recent estimate for replacing the aging police station is $18.36 million, including property acquisition, construction and furnishing the new building.
Multiple architectural studies have concluded the existing station is in such a state of disrepair and has been modified so many times that the best option is to replace it.
Lee said she thinks the state of the existing building hinders the department's ability to do its job.
"We've gimped this building along for the last 17 years or so, since 1995," she said. "It can't be ignored for another 17 years. Eventually the city's going to have to spend money on a building."