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Cottonwood Shores police and fire budgets approved at special meeting

Cottonwood Shores Police Department

The Cottonwood Shores Crime Control and Prevention District’s new budget was approved by the City Council on Aug. 12. It funds the city’s police department. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Cottonwood Shores Crime Control and Prevention District’s $116,661.72 budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year was approved by the City Council during a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 12. The new budget has a carryover of $8,508.52 from the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

The district’s money comes from one-fourth of a 2-percent sales tax collected in the city. 

“We started it when we needed a special source, when we needed money for the police department,” Mayor Don Orr said. “I thought it was important to have focused funds for the police department.”

The Crime Control and Prevention District was approved by voters in 2007. Its purpose is to help the city’s police department address neighborhood crime, education, equipment, and salaries. 

Eighty-five percent of the district’s overall budget goes to salaries, supplementing the police department’s budget of $500,000. 

“I have a lot of confidence in the police chief (Johnny Liendo) and in this City Council to protect the police department’s budget,” Orr said. “A major portion has gone toward salaries, and I don’t see this group looking at ways to cut that situation.” 

City Administrator J.C. Hughes said salaries in the police department were raised “substantially,” and Orr noted the importance of paying city employees well in order to keep them. 

Voters will be asked whether to continue the Crime Control and Prevention District in 2027.  

The council also approved the 2021-22 fiscal year contract with the Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department at $38,000, which will be paid in monthly installments of $3,167. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com