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10/10/2008
County Police/emergency communications enlargement plan would cost $3.75 million; tax increase spread out over next 4 years - Delaforum.com

The Coons administration plan to enlarge the county police force and emergency communications unit would cost an estimated $37.5 million spread over the next four years.

Data supplied by acting chief financial officer Edward Milowicki at Delaforum's request included price tags of $1 million this fiscal year and $3.6 million in the year which begins July 1, 2009, to add police. The communications component is pegged at $768,000 and $1 million, respectively. The two-year total would have to be covered by a property-tax increase in the neighborhood of 5% enacted by County Council in May to take effect with bills due by Sept. 30, 2009. Because paying for additional personnel is a continuing obligation, the combined estimated cost would rise annually to $13.4 million in fiscal 2013.

Here's how the estimates break down by year:

Fiscal year:

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total

Police

$1,001,496

$3,558,012

$6,342,204

$9,197,694

$11,921,018

$32,020,424

Communications

$767,505

$1,038,060

$1,083,233

$1,131,254

$1,478,611

$5,498,663

    Total

$1,769,001

$4,596,072

$7,425,437

$10,328,948

$13,399,629

$37,519,087

SOURCE: New Castle County Department of Finance

Chief administrative officer Jeffrey Bullock told Council's public safety committee on Oct. 7 that the next step in beefing up public safety services will focus on paramedics. That is a more complex issue because the state legislature is expected to refine the respective state and county obligations in financing emergency medical operations. Nevertheless, Bullock said, the administration is committed to looking at delivery of paramedic services with the same long-term approach as it applied to police and communications. "It's not that we're sitting around looking at ways to spend more money," he added.

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