Property taxes helping police -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Property taxes helping police

September 3, 2002

Albany - Some Albany police officers may soon get pay raises. Albany commissioners set aside more than $100,000 from property taxes reassessment revenue for police incentive raises.

The reassessment of Albany homes brought in an extra $165,000. Tuesday, Commissioners discussed how to spend this money, as well as $500,000 they saved by refinancing the Civic Center debt.

When city manager Janice Allen Jackson asked departments for a list of needs for next years, she received more than $4 million worth of projects. She narrowed those down to a handful and left the decision on how to spend $165,000 from property tax reassessment to commissioners.

"Each commissioner ranked the projects in order of priority," said Jackson. "The top three will most likely be funded." Albany police officers will see the bulk of that money, about $116,000.

"I look forward to giving my officers incentive pay raises," said Chief Bobby Johnson. "Some officers have special skills, and others work beyond the call of duty. I want to reward these officers."

But, the police department isn't getting 10 in-car video surveillance cameras they asked for. "We do need these cameras. They would alleviate disputes about police misconduct and would serve as evidence in some cases," said Chief Johnson.

Only nine patrol cars have video cameras right now. The rest of the reassessment revenue will go towards hiring an additional city attorney.

Commissioners also decided to put a large part of the $529,000 proceeds from refinancing of the civic center back into the project. "We plan on replacing the Civic Center doors and putting more money into the promotional account," said Jackson.

$261,000 will go into the city's already depleted reserve fund. Dozens of projects lost out, including revitalizing the city's vehicle fleet and adding a new office for the city's cemeteries.

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