August 23, 2014

Elyria
Fog
72°F
test

Levy to support county drug task force passes

ELYRIA — Lorain County’s drug dealers probably aren’t cheering the passage Tuesday of a new operating levy for the Lorain County Drug Task Force.

The measure will generate around $492,000 for the agency, which works to combat drugs throughout the county and has been especially focused in recent years on dealing with the rising tide of heroin and prescription drug use that have led to a growing number of overdose deaths.

According to unofficial election returns, 14,271 votes, or 52.4 percent, were cast in favor of the levy compared to 12,946 votes, or 47.6 percent, that were cast against the levy.

Drug Task Force Commander Dennis Cavanaugh said given the climate about tax hikes he was pleased the levy passed.

“We certainly appreciate that the citizens recognize we have a serious drug problem in the county,” he said.

The Drug Task Force has an annual operating budget of around $1.2 million, part of which comes from a 1982 levy that the agency shared with the county’s drug analysis lab. It has 5 full-time and one part-time officers currently working there, down 2½ officers from where it was a few years ago.

The owner of a home valued at $100,000 will pay $2.45 per year for the 0.08-mill levy.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.