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Twp.board to consider new sheriff contract

November 17, 2010 - Atlas Twp.- The township board of trustees is expected to approve a new police contract with the Genesee County Sheriff's Department at the regular meeting planned for 7 p.m., Nov. 22.

The new sheriff's contract, which is estimated at $545,000, will include four deputies, same as in prior years, along with funding for a detective-sergeant which both Fenton and Atlas townships had not funded previously. The residents of Vienna Township, who also have a contract with the sheriff's department for police coverage, is currently charged for the service, said James Gage, Genesee County undersheriff.

Last year the contract was $539,000.

"There's not a lot different than last year," said Barry June, township trustee. "No huge increases in the contract."

Last year the township contract split a $130,000 detective-sergeant position between Fenton Township (60 percent) and the township (40 percent) for the first time.. The cost of the four township deputies remained the same until January 2010, three months into the township contract, when they received a 2.5 percent pay hike. The next pay change will not occur until June 2011, added Gage.

The township established a contract with the GCSD about 14 years ago, funded by 1 mill from area property owners. Funding for the deputies was increased in 2005 by a special assessment of $50 for every improved lot and $25 for unimproved lots, which expired in 2010. However, in August, by a 4-1 vote, the township board approved a special assessment of $50 for improved parcels and $25 for unimproved parcels, to partially fund law enforcement for the community.

Township Supervisor Shirley Kautman Jones voted no.

The decline will leave the township about $100,000 short of what is necessary for the new contract.

The 1 mill had generated $330,000, while the special assessment garners $162,679 per year. It is estimated the 1 mill will now only produce about $280,000 next year due to sagging property values.

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