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      Saginaw Township voters to decide on police millage increase

      Saginaw Township voters will decide on a police millage during the August 5th primary election.

      In less than a week, Saginaw Township voters will decide on a new police millage.

      It would increase taxes for the average homeowner by about 160 dollars a year.

      The old police millage expired at the end of last year and the police chief say if a new millage is not approved, services would suffer by cutting its police force nearly in half.

      "We would probably lose 19 officers and would go back to a basic patrol, basic investigation type department which we had 20 years ago," said Saginaw Township Police Chief Donald Pussehl.

      The chief says with less funding available through state revenue sharing and other sources they have to find other ways like millages to make up the money. He says operating costs have significantly increased over the past 20 years.

      The Saginaw group ??Stop Taxing Our People?? is opposing most of the millages and proposals on the ballot this year but does not take issue with the police millage because it feels the money is needed for public safety and will be used properly.

      ??We're not becoming involved in trying to dissuade people from that. We accept that and we feel that this is an appropriate millage," said Thomas R. Call Jr., one of the group leaders.

      Call acknowledges that there are a few members of the organization who do not support the millage because it increases taxes.

      The township board has promised not to increase the millage for the next 15 years, if it is approved.

      Voters will decide on Tuesday August 5th.