Exeter City Council members voted to shut down the city's police department in the face of declining revenue and rising costs.
In recent months, the City of Exeter has encountered a number of expenses associated with its ongoing water project that have taken a toll on city finances.
According to City Clerk Myrna Eisenbraun, the city was required to hire extra help during the water project and also pay the additional electrical cost associated with the new well. The city also was required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase new chemicals for the sewer plant.
These rising costs associated with city operations have coincided with declining tax revenue.
"The city finds itself on shaky financial ground," reported Eisenbraun in the Dec. 10 council meeting minutes. "In order to stay as close to budget as possible, the city has no choice but to make some changes, which involve cutbacks."
After listening to Eisenbraun's assessment of the city's financial position, alderman Jeff Scott made a motion to "cease operation of the police department until the city can increase revenue enough to resume it." Alderman Jim Morse seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval from Scott, Morse and alderman Rhonda Scott.
"The mayor and council are extremely sorry that these cutbacks are necessary," said Eisenbraun. "They in no way reflect on the performance of the individuals. They all did their respective jobs with professionalism and diligence."
Exeter was being served by Police Chief David Bowman and Officer Clint Clark.
"Everything has been going up except our revenue," said Eisenbraun. "I've been here 11 years and I've never seen our funds so low. We will be watching our finances very closely in the coming months."