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Wake Forest wants to beef up its police department

The proposed Town of Wake Forest budget would leave tax rates and electricity rates unchanged.
The proposed Town of Wake Forest budget would leave tax rates and electricity rates unchanged. N&O file photo

Wake Forest residents who want to weigh in on town spending and taxes can do so on Tuesday.

A public hearing on the proposed 2018-19 budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Town Hall board chambers, 301 S. Brooks St.

Under the proposed spending plan, the town's property-tax rate would remain at 52 cents per $100 valuation. On a house valued at $250,000, the tax bill would come to $1,300.

Town Manager Kip Padgett proposes to keep the separate downtown property-tax rate at 14 cents, and he proposes no increase in electricity rates.

The one cost that would go up: the vehicle tax, which Padgett wants to increase by $10, from $15 to $25 annually.

On the spending side of the budget, Padgett proposes 20 new hires, most of them in the police department. The town manager wants:

Four police corporals to split the town into districts for quicker response times.

One corporal to help with officer training and recruitment.

One sergeant and four offices to make up a second traffic unit.

One lieutenant to oversee the two traffic units.

One administrative captain.

Two administrative positions.

"Over the past couple of years, we have tried to focus on providing appropriate staffing levels to a point where we can adequately meet service levels," Padgett said in his budget. "After this year, staff believes we will be at a transition point where such large increases in staffing are not needed."

The proposed budget is online at www.wakeforestnc.gov/budget.aspx.

Scott Bolejack: 919-829-4629, @ScottBolejack
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