Proposed budget to add new officers, possible merger with fire department

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Deciding what to cut and what to fund, that is what the Town of Leland is doing right now.

Adding two new police officers and a possibly bringing the Leland Volunteer Fire-Rescue Department under town administration are just a few items being considered in the Town of Leland’s budget this year.

“Well as Leland grows, I mean the area expands and there’s more places for the officers to patrol,” Town Manager David Hollis said. “And provides better security, reduces crime, better presences in the community.”

However, in order to fund the new officers the town would increase the property tax rate from its current rate of 18 cents to 20.

“So adding two police officers and being able to fund those adequately would takes a little more money than we currently have,” Hollis said.

The two cent increase would pay for officers and possibly road repairs. While nothing has been approved just yet, residents like Jason Fuller say it would be a good move despite the increase.

“I think that’s great. Any time you can have more police officers you’re gonna have a higher level of safety. Faster responses. So I’m always willing to pay a little bit more money if that’s what it requires,” Fuller said.

Hollis says if approved the officers would help create larger rotations across town. The budget also includes $400,000 to bring the fire department under town administration. Even though the town has not made a definite decision.

“We’re still having conversations with the Volunteer Fire Department. And those are going well,” Hollis said.

It is a hopeful addition for the months to come. As for budget cuts Hollis says the biggest cut so far would be capital improvement projects.

If you want to get involved or learn more about the budget, you can attend any of the town meetings. The final budget presentation will be May 18th followed by a public hearing June 1st.

The budget must be approved by June 30th.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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