May 23, 2019

Residents relent, give police requested budget

WINTER HARBOR — Less than a month after trimming the Police Department’s budget by $8,000, voters have opted to finance the department at the level requested by the chief.

At the annual town meeting in June, voters expressed dismay at the steadily rising cost of running the town’s part-time department. The department employs one chief, Warren Ahrens, and three patrol deputies. The department maintains an office in the town hall and also makes use of one patrol cruiser.

Ahrens requested a budget of nearly $45,000, but voters trimmed that figure to $37,600. Ahrens has since maintained that the additional money was needed to cover fixed costs such as payroll, insurance and gasoline. To stay under budget, Ahrens said, the department would have to limit patrols and court appearances.

Faced with that announcement, the majority of voters at Monday’s special town meeting agreed to grant the department the additional funding.

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