City Budget Adding Jobs | VideoJenny Castro | 9/11/2012
The need for public safety officers has been a growing concern over the last few years. The city council is considering a budget that would add seven police officers and four members to the fire department. Both departments say they`re in need of the extra man power.
"Very rarely do we add positions, we added one firefighter three years ago, the last time we added a position before that it was probably ten years,” said Chief CJ Craven from the Minot Fire Department.
Craven said that the additional staff would be positioned at their Station Two in the middle of the city allowing for quicker responses.
"The city has become much larger in square miles and the traffic is much worse and its very difficult for the south station to get to north hill in a timely manner or for the north hill station to get to south hill in a timely manner.”
While most residents would agree on the need for extra safety personnel, not everyone is thrilled about the means to pay for it. An increase in property tax is part of the budget plan, adding approximately $47 for every $100,000 in home value.
"Definitely, I do think we need that, but I think there should be others ways that we should be able to accommodate that besides taxing the people that are living here,” said Minot resident Jeanette Brothers.
The budget would also mean a 20 percent increase in water, sewer and garbage rates to pay for the new positions. The council is scheduled to meet next Monday for a second reading and final passage for the budget.
The council was split ten to three on the budget approval. The budget allows for a total of 31 and a half new positions also including two airport technicians, a library assistant and some city maintenance positions.