1-27-20 fdl council discusses public safety referendum

The Fond du Lac city council is beginning the process that could lead to a November  referendum to pay for additional fire and police staffing.   The Fond du Lac police chief and fire chief laid out their case at last week’s city council meeting for why they believe the extra personnel  is needed.   The police department wants seven new patrol officers and the fire department is asking for six firefighter/paramedics to man a new ambulance.  O’Leary says when a fourth or fifth ambulance has to be put in service with the regular duty crew, that means a fire crew is being taken out of service to make that happen.   O’Leary says he wants to make sure the department is equipped to protect the citizens and provide them the type of services they deserve and have come to expect.  “Our needs assessment we’ve done, statistical analysis we’ve done shows that we have had an increasingly number of occasions where we don’t have enough ambulances for the work we have to do everyday,”  O’Leary told WFDL news.  City council president Brian Kolstad says at this point he is convinced the departments need to extra staff and that a referendum is the best way to go about doing that.   A referendum question could be placed on the 2020 presidential election ballot.  The council will get a more specific cost breakdown at their February 12 meeting.  Adding a million dollars to the city tax levy would increase the mill rate by 33 dollars for the owner of a $100,000 home.