2017-12-03 / News

Montrose Twp. and City of Montrose agree to extend public safety contract

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

MONTROSE – During the Tuesday, Nov. 21 meeting, the Montrose Township Board approved a one-year extension of the public safety contract with the City of Montrose. The board also approved a contract with the police union.

After the contract was approved, Montrose Township Superintendent Mark Emmendorfer told the Citizen, “With the retirement of both [police chief] Darrell Ellison and Don Urban, our budget is less. It allows us to keep the contract down for another year.”

The extension provides fire protection through the Montrose Township Fire Department, as well as police protection with Montrose Township Police officers responding to priority one and two calls. For other calls, city residents can file a report at the police department during office hours.

The city council approved the township public safety contract extension at its Thursday, Nov. 16 meeting. Over the past couple of years, the Montrose City Council has been struggling with diminished state shared revenues. As a result, the public safety contract with the township has taken up a substantial share of the city’s budget.

Earlier in November, Montrose city mayor Colleen Brown said, “I have been here nine years now. We have cut and cut and cut. What do you want us to do?”

The city council unanimously approved the extension of the public safety contract with the township.

Meanwhile, part-time city manager Neil Rankin has encouraged the city council to place a police protection proposal on the ballot next year. The council is divided on the issue, with Mayor Brown, Councilman Mark Richard and Councilwoman Deb Gross voting against motion for placing a five-mill public safety proposal on the ballot next year. Councilman Robert Arnold, councilman Eldon Dunklee and councilwoman Christy Sanborn are in favor of letting the voters decide whether they would support a police millage. Councilman Thomas Bigelow was absent during the meeting.

Emmendorfer said he understands the city’s situation and has been trying to work with city officials.

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