Pinconning budget shortfall could force cuts to services, closing police department
Pinconning, Mich.(WSMH) —
Dozens of people packed the Pinconning city hall to find out more about a possible closure of the city’s police department. Pinconning is facing an approximate $100,000 shortfall in the upcoming budget. Pinconning City Manager Bill Jasura says the shortfall stems from rising health care and retirement costs. He says the two primary ways to fix the shortfall is to raise taxes, or cut services.
“We’re looking at alternatives with our retirement program, out health insurance, with officers accepting no pay increases. We’re trying to do everything we can to keep our finances in order,” Jasura says.
Some members of the city council tentatively reached out to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office to see what it would cost the city to have the Sheriff’s office patrol the town. Jasura says those discussions are entirely premature and he hasn’t received any numbers from the county yet.
Pinconning Police Chief Thomas Tober says he understands the budget concerns, but closing the police force isn’t in the best interest of the city’s residents.
“We work very closely on a personal basis with this community. I have been in departments where budgets were tight, but we always had just enough people to do the job. We only have three officers, and our yearly budget is $110,000. There is nothing we can cut, we are as thin as we possibly can be,” Tober says.
The public safety contract is set to expire on July 1. The Pinconning City Council will be taking up a possible extension to the contract at the next meeting on May 23.