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updated: 11/7/2012 12:30 AM

Winfield voters give mixed signals on cops, roads

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Winfield voters sent a mixed message to their town leaders.

Results on Tuesday night show voters overwhelmingly supportive of keeping the village's police force. However, they oppose paying higher property taxes or having video gambling to help raise additional revenue.

According to unofficial results from all of Winfield's 13 precincts, 87 percent of the voters approved an advisory ballot question asking if the village should keep its police department.

The nonbinding question was put on the ballot because Winfield trustees are embroiled in a debate over whether to keep the police department intact or to contract with the sheriff's office, which would save money that could be funneled toward road repairs.

But nearly 67 percent of voters rejected a binding measure that would have doubled the property tax rate homeowners pay to Winfield.

Officials said the property tax hike would have generated $850,000 to $900,000 a year, which the village planned to use to fix roads and bolster its underfunded police pension fund.

Meanwhile, a binding question will force Winfield to reinstate a ban of video gambling that the village board repealed in March. About 57 percent of voters support prohibiting video gambling, according to unofficial results.

Finally, a nonbinding question related to village spending has support. According to unofficial results, 82 percent of voters would like to see the village seek voter permission to spend more than $1 million on a new project in a single year.

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