Defeat of half cent sales tax measure will not hinder public safety in Dickinson

A little over a week ago, voters defeated Dickinson’s Measure 1, 58 percent to 41 percent.

It was a half cent sales tax increase that would have benefited public safety,and the mayor of Dickinson was surprised.

“I actually heard nothing. We heard no concerns, said Scott Decker mayor of Dickinson. 

The additional sales tax revenue would have generated about 1.3 million dollars in 2019, and it would have replaced some of the money the city takes out of the general fund for the police and fire

“So we would free up some general fund dollars for some additional construction projects and property tax relief, ” said Decker. 

If the measure had passed 60 percent of the revenue generated would have gone to the department  budgets and 40 percent would have gone into public safety projects fund.

“It would of allowed us as a department to make macro purchases. . those larger purchases that are are difficult for the general fund to absorb,” said Lt. Mike Hanel of the Dickinson Police Department.

Fire Chief Chief Bob Sivak said the funds would have been useful in purchasing new equipment for the departments.

“We have radio equipment today that is on the verge of being obsolete”.

Lt. Hanel said the departments will now have to continue purchasing items at a slow crawl, instead of a fast sprint.

“Maybe requiring us to span our budgeting timeline out several years in advance, instead of all upfront at once.”

Mayor Decker said even though the measure didn’t pass, the city will make sure its emergency responders are taken care of.

“Upgrade to body armor for the swat team- of course we are going to find funding for that.”

Mayor Decker said the city is considering putting the measure back on the ballot in 2020. 

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