Local government

Nyssa council rejects public safety fee boost

NYSSA – The Nyssa City Council rejected a plan to boost the city’s public safety fee during its regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 12.
On a 5-2 vote, the council shot down the proposal to hike the public safety fee from the current $5 charged to residents and business on their monthly city bill to $15.
Mayor Betty Halcomb and Councilor Ron Edmondson voted in favor of the fee boost designed to provide more money for the Nyssa Police Department. Councilors Patricia Esplin,
Pat Oliver, Morganne DeLeon, Juan Ramos and Robert Escobedo voted no.
Yet the council isn’t finished regarding a public safety fee hike.
The council was scheduled to meet Tuesday, Dec. 19, to discuss two new different public safety fee rate boosts, said Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager.
“They will discuss a $5 and a $3 one,” said Maret.
Nyssa councilors began to consider a public safety fee hike last summer and since then sponsored public meetings and sent out two surveys to residents.
The public safety fee is separate from the city’s water and sewer charges. The 2022-2023 Nyssa budget lists income from the current public safety fee at $76,000.
The city received 77 responses on the first survey and more than 130 on the second survey. The surveys were available to the council during its meeting.
Escobedo said he voted against the increase because he felt the council should have discussed the survey results more.
“The community took the time to write those comments and I think the city needs to take the time to read them. We didn’t go over the comments so I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said.
Previously, Escobedo said he was “on the fence” about the proposal and leaned toward putting the issue before voters. The earliest such a measure could go onto a ballot would be next May.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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