The Brooksville City Council tackled a complicated issue in a workshop Tuesday afternoon: the pros and cons of keeping the city police department.
- Payment for police services key issue
- Discrepancies over cost estimates clouding issue
- Possible for city to enter Municipal Services Taxing Unit, only pay for Sheriff's services
The biggest concern is how the city of Brooksville will pay for police services.
There are two options: leave the police department and sheriff's office in place, or the city council can ask the commissioners to consider entering into a Municipal Services Taxing Unit, or MSTU, for funding.
During the workshop, an expert explained the pros and cons, and boiled it all down to how much it each would cost the city.
Unfortunately, there are currently discrepancies over those costs.
However, the majority of the council is leaning towards staying out of the MSTU, and keeping only the police department. That trend has some residents relieved.
"Patrol is a big thing here in our town, not only for the safety of our businesses, but for our residents too," Donna Morin said.
While some residents we talked to were glad to see the city moving towards staying out of the MSTU, other residents we spoke to don't think they are considering all their options.
For example, many in the Southern Hills community are all for the MSTU and just having Sheriff's services.
"We're a very important tax base for the city of Brooksville," said Margaret Bloomquist. "And they are listening to some of what we're saying, but they're not getting to the point of making a decision to be made to reduce expenses in the city."
By the time the workshop ended, there was still no decision. The council is scheduled to meet again next Monday to finalize a letter to commissioners to consider the MSTU.
Commissioners will be the ones to decide whether to move forward with the MSTU. Then it is up to the city council to decide whether Brooksville will be a part of it.
Without the MSTU, all law enforcement services within the city limits would remain the same.