Benton Harbor meetings to focus on public safety assessments

Nov 24, 2012

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Emergency financial manager Joe Harris says he plans to hold public hearings in Benton Harbor on whether a special assessment should replace an expired public safety millage.

Harris says the city no longer has the money to operate its own police department and that hearings are expected over the next few weeks to get public input on the issue.

The city must make up for $1.4 million lost after two operating millage renewals failed to pass on Nov. 6. Harris says a public safety special assessment would allow the southwest Michigan city to continue to fund public safety operations and maintenance.

If the police department is cut, the area sheriff's department could be hired to provide law enforcement services. A similar arrangement was made in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac.