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via Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Prang’s newsletter

With many businesses requesting extended hours to operate past 2AM in our City, the City must begin discussions to weigh the benefits and costs involved in having a city that offers extended hours or is 24/7 vs. the budgetary issues and costs necessary for additional deputies.

The current allocation of deputies is tapped at this point according to our Sheriff’s Captain, Kelley Fraser. She has stated that she would rather have her deputies out in the neighborhoods protecting the residents walking home or leaving the clubs rather than spent dealing with crowd control.

Is it advantageous to the City and/or to the businesses to stay open 1 or 2 hours later? What are the impacts on the neighborhoods?

It comes down to increasing the Sheriffs contract by 1 to 2 million dollars, and weighing that cost against the benefit to the City in tax revenue the extra hours would generate. For example, for the cost of $1 Million, the City might only generate $50,000, which makes this basically a social gift.

At this point it is hard to tell what the opinions are of the five City Councilmembers are, and therefore an agenized discussion is warranted. However, before that can happen the Council needs to fully understand all aspects of the potential change before a discussion, decision or a directive can be made.

The City, along with the Sheriff’s Department will begin to pull together statistics over the past two years on the incidents occurring from extended hours, and attempt to look at the potential revenue to be made. Once this information is complete, this item will be placed on a City Council agenda, which will help lead the discussions as well as answer some of these vital questions.

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