Mint Hill Police K-9s Ajay and Bady have been off the job for weeks now. At about 8 years old, the two have hit retirement age and Police Chief Tim Ledford proposed discontinuing the program for a few years.
But during a budget workshop Tuesday, April 23, Mint Hill commissioners weren’t in favor of nixing the K-9 unit, Town Manager Brian Welch said. So, Welch is planning to budget for the purchase of two new trained police dogs – a cost of about $25,000.
“What I gathered was they wanted it in the budget, so it’s going to go in the budget,” Welch said.
The discussion was part of the board’s first budget workshop, where budget requests from department heads were presented. Welch will compile his recommended budget and another workshop will be set, likely in about a month, he said. A copy of the proposed budget will then be made available for the public to see, and a public hearing will be held. A final budget must be approved by July 1.
Here’s a look at other key budget requests:
Among the most significant changes in the police department’s proposed budget is a switch in dispatching
services from Matthews to Pineville police, which provided dispatching for Mint Hill from 2007 to 2011.
Mint Hill switched to using Matthews services to save money and because the department was having radio compatibility problems with Pineville. But those problems have been fixed and Pineville has offered a lower rate than Matthews, Welch said.
The move would save the town an estimated $27,500 in 2013-14 and police chiefs in the two towns are discussing terms for a five-year contract, Welch said. Mint Hill expects to pay $105,000 for dispatch service next year with Pineville, according to Ledford’s proposed budget.
Also included in the proposal are increases in utilities, cleaning services and computer equipment and repair as officers plan to move into their new building this fall. Those estimated increases are $12,000, $5,000 and $35,000, respectively.
Fire & EMS
Among the requests from Fire/EMS Director David Leath is $20,550 for new uniforms for all town employees and $12,500 for five sets of firefighting turnout gear to replace damaged sets.
Leath’s budget request also includes the required $150,820 payment to the nonprofit Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department for a ladder truck. He’s also asking for $24,050 for holiday pay for full-time employees, $19,501 for overtime pay and $8,000 for vehicle maintenance and fuel for his town-owned vehicle.
Deputy Town Manager Lee Bailey would like to add $21,250 to contract with a traffic engineer to conduct traffic impact analysis for the town and work with the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MUMPO.
The increase is the only change from last year’s department budget of $333,492. The consultant would serve as a “revenue producer” for the town, prompting fees to be paid by developers planning projects in the town, Welch said.
Staff positions of planning director and transportation planner would remain vacant, under Bailey’s proposal.
Tim Garner, public works director, is asking for two new pieces of equipment – a backhoe at $93,500 and a mower deck at $12,800.
His proposal also includes $58,659 to repair the town’s street sweeper and $2,964 for new lettering and decals for town-owned trucks.