Jacksonville wants to fund police department with new fee

Jacksonville, Ore. – The city of Jacksonville is facing shortages as it sees new expenses arise for its police force. The city council is now looking to residents for help.

Jacksonville is trying to increase funding for its police force.

The police department is currently paid out of the general fund, but with new cost including equipment and new contractors, the city is in need of a way to support the people who work to keep the community safe.

“The general fund is being depleted because of this and the income is not enough to match the increased expenses of the police department,” Mayor Becker said.

The residents of Jacksonville already pay a fee for fire and emergency services, and would see a 20 dollar increase to their utility bill if a new proposal is passed.

Frances Underwood lives in Jacksonville. She says she’s willing to pay more.

“Law enforcement has increased challenges they require up to date technology so they can communicate with other law enforcement agencies for public safety,” a resident of Jacksonville, Frances Underwood said.

Mayor Becker said the 20 dollar fee isn’t the only option the city is considering. Another option would be a property tax levy. However, in his opinion he thinks the monthly fee is the best option.

“I can say that from my feedback everybody wants the police department and they’re willing to pay for it, they just simply have to figure out which is the better way,” Becker said.

Frances agrees, and hopes her neighbors will see it the same way.

“It sounds like administratively it’s much less expensive and most efficient for the city just to combine all that in our utility bill that we receive, we write one check or we pay once online and it’s taken care of,” Underwood said.

The city of Jacksonville will host a public forum to hear opinions on the 31st. Councilors will decide then what is the best option, and move forward from there.

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