Fayetteville's City Manager's Office has proposed a tax
increase that would help the city hire more police officers.
During a budget work session Wednesday night, council
members heard about a new round of federal COPS grants that could help the city
hire up to 15 new officers. City Manager Ted Voorhees explained Thursday he
believes Fayetteville would be a good candidate to win a new COPS grant because
the grants show preference toward helping to hire veterans for law enforcement
careers, and Fayetteville obviously has a strong connection to the military.
The grant would pay most of the cost for the officers for
three years. A tax increase of one percent, or one cent for every $100 in
assessed value, would pay the remaining portion of the cost for the officers.
After the grant expires, the tax increase would sustain the officer positions. For
those first years, some of the money raised through the tax would pay to build
a new police substation on Santa Fe Drive. If Fayetteville happens to not win
the grant, the money would immediately be put toward hiring new officers.
Voorhees said the current substation in the Santa Fe Drive
area is no longer meeting the needs of the police force.
Ron Brewington who manages the Family Fare convenience store
on Hay Street said he thinks the tax increase is a good investment.
"No one likes taxes, but no one like crime.
Without police officers our business is at risk, our homes our communities, our
schools. Everything is at risk," Brewington said. "If that's what it takes, go
for it because we want a safe community."
One of Brewington's customers disagreed. She
said she thinks taxes are already too much of a burden.
Voorhees said city council members have expressed that
public safety is a priority for them as they plan the budget for the upcoming
year. He said council members still have time to accept public input on the
proposal before they vote on it next month.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>