Benton Harbor residents discuss special assessment - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor residents discuss special assessment

Posted:

We told you a few weeks ago, residents voted down a millage renewal during the last election, which is a loss of $1.4 million dollars for Benton Harbor.

Now, Benton Harbor Emergency Financial Manager, Joseph Harris, is looking at drastic measures to get the city out of debt.

Two of them are getting rid of the police department or filing for bankruptcy.

For now, he's opting for a possible special assessment to strictly pay for public safety instead.

He held a public input meeting Tuesday to hear what residents had to say.

Benton Harbor police officers respond to 13,000 calls a year for the four square mile area.

People at the meeting agreed, the police department needs to stay.  

"We're all in the same boat, and if the boat sinks, we all sink on it. Let's keep the boat from sinking," says Maurice Burden who spoke for his parents who live in Benton Harbor.

Emergency Manager Joseph Harris says the special assessment can be reduced or terminated if money comes in from elsewhere.

Agreeing to pay for public safety doesn't mean residents are excited about the special assessment.

"Why now that we're having this type of quorum after the election. This should have been done before the election so that everybody would have known what was really going on," a resident said.

There is a lot of push back from residents who don't like the work Harris has been doing.

They want more transparency and other ideas for making money for the city.

"We don't need to just stop here with special assessment, let's start counting our money. Are we making money on a 4 hundred million dollar golf course?" asks resident Sam Hudson.

So just how much money are we talking?

The special assessment would be $7.50 for every thousand dollars of property.

Basically, if you have a house worth $100,000, you'll be paying $750 a year.

Keep in mind, residents just voted down the millage renewal, so they won't be paying that.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • SB Police Chief, Council discuss problems with recruiting

    SB Police Chief, Council discuss problems with recruiting

    South Bend leaders are reacting to a violent milestone. The latest shooting, Monday night, marked the 30 in the city this year. There have been seven homicides since January 1.The South Bend Common Council's Health and Public Safety committee met Tuesday and a big concern that came up is manpower on the police force.More >>
    South Bend leaders are reacting to a violent milestone. The latest shooting, Monday night, marked the 30 in the city this year. There have been seven homicides since January 1.The South Bend Common Council's Health and Public Safety committee met Tuesday and a big concern that came up is manpower on the police force.More >>
  • Woman killed in Indiana church parking lot

    Woman killed in Indiana church parking lot

    Police say a Northwest Indiana man shot his estranged wife in front of the couple's son Monday. It happened in a church parking lot in Griffith, Indiana. That's Southwest of Gary in Lake County. The coroner there has identified the victim as Nina Castro.More >>
    Police say a Northwest Indiana man shot his estranged wife in front of the couple's son Monday. It happened in a church parking lot in Griffith, Indiana. That's Southwest of Gary in Lake County. The coroner there has identified the victim as Nina Castro.
    More >>
  • Timeline of violence in South Bend

    Timeline of violence in South Bend

    Seven people have been killed in South Bend since the beginning of this year.  They aren't just another statistic, though.  They are people that have real families who are suffering.  The first victimMore >>
    Seven people have been killed in South Bend since the beginning of this year.  They aren't just another statistic, though.  They are people that have real families who are suffering.  The first victimMore >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.