The subject of safety and future plans for police protection were heavily debated at the Midland town council meeting last Tuesday, December 11.
For several months, the council has looked into an enhanced police protection coverage plan with Cabarrus County. The plan encompasses a 2×2 match, which would give the town four officers, with 12-hour shifts each. The town would provide the income and costs for two of the officers and the county would provide the same for the remaining officers. The town would also cover the cost for purchasing two cars.
The complete initial cost for the enhanced police protection would be around $200,000 the first year and around $105,000 per year, following.
Sheriff Brad Riley was present at the meeting to answer questions posed by the council as well as explain the benefits of such a plan as opposed to the town beginning its own police department. He described the enhanced protection as the “Biggest bang for your buck.”
Although the need for enhanced police protection is acknowledged as needed, the council was split at times, over the effect that an increased tax would be for the citizens of Midland.
Riley stressed several times that at some point the town would have to make the decision to make a change.
“I’m not against police protection,” council member Don McSheehan said adamantly, “I am just against a four percent raise in taxes.”
Council member Doug Tucker was also concerned about the increase in taxes.
“I’m all for police protection, but we have to justify the tax raise, and do we have enough tax base right now or wait for the tax base to come in to cover it,” said Tucker.
Council members Rich Wise and Mike Tallent pointed out the low tax rates the average resident pays now and what the tax increase would look like for the tax payers.
“If you put it down to dollars and cents,” said Wise. “On a four percent increase just for police protection, a $100,000 home would cost approximately $3 a month for that protection. Where can you go for $3 a month?” Continue reading