Seligman police chief 
proposes expanded coverage

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Proposal requires additional officer in 2015

The Seligman Police Department wants to expand its coverage schedule by adding a fourth part-time officer to the 2015 budget.

"We need this kind of coverage [for all businesses]," said Terry Burgess, police chief. "We want to encourage more businesses to come to town, which will obviously increase revenue."

In 2014, the city has budgeted for a police chief and three part-time officers, said City Clerk Brian Nichols. Burgess works between 40 and 65 hours per month, one part-time officer works 30 hours per week, another part-time officer works 20 hours per week and the third part-time officer position, which would be 30 hours per week, is vacant.

"I really kind of think you will see the alderman hold off on the fourth officer position until we get a few months into next year," he said.

Burgess said he wants to try the proposed coverage, and he wants to make sure the officers can do the coverage.

"If they can't, we'll reduce coverage," he said. "We'll figure out what shift does not need to exist. We'll cut that from the budget."

Burgess, who makes $500 per month, has requested that the city council increase his salary by $150 per month, starting on the April 13, 2015, when his current employment contract ends.

In 2014, the Seligman Police Department has budgeted $87,750 in revenue and $78,151.25 in expenses. Burgess gave Nichols a proposed 2015 expense budget of $101,007.

"If you scrape off the excess and make the 2015 budget as bare bones and basic as you can, then the Police Department should anticipate $82,000 in revenue," Nichols said. "More realistically, I would say that we will match our expenses, and 2014 is already an increase from 2012 and 2013.

"So, there is a steady incline of revenue coming up. Of course, until we get into January, I can't tell you how much sales tax and how much fines and forfeits have come in for the entire 2014. We don't have any figures on what Walmart is going to bring, or what that kind of increase that is going to be."

The Walmart Neighborhood Market plans to open Dec. 10 near the intersection of Highways 37 and 112.

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