GAYLORD, MI - Montmorency County Sheriff Don Edwards said the failure of two property tax proposals last week could result in the layoff of one or two deputies and fewer patrol cars on the roads, according to the Gaylord Herald Times.

The .25-mill equipment millage request would've generated $120,000 annually for five years to cover the cost of purchasing and outfitting patrol vehicles, Edwards told the Times.

"Many of our cars have 140,000 or 150,000 miles and are in rough shape. We'll be driving the same cars through next year," Edwards said, adding each of his seven officers has a take-home patrol car to make up for the lack of a 24-hour patrol. "As they break down, we'll have to assign fewer take-home vehicles."

Currently, the department has nine patrol cars - including two newer fleet vehicles used for transporting prisoners - and an SUV used in wintertime or for towing the sheriff's patrol boat.

Edwards indicated Alpena's undersheriff may sell the Montmorency department some of its used patrol vehicles.

Additionally, the failed .5-mill request would've generated $240,000 annually for the staffing of two officers, and the hire of two to three more. Now, Edwards said, his department may lose one or two officers by the end of the year.

The county's budget process for the next fiscal year is currently underway. Edwards expects to know the department's budget within the next few weeks, reported the Times.