Doral will get more police officers if the City Council approves the city manager’s proposed 2013-2014 city budget.
The council is considering a $38 million budget that comes months after the council voted to cut the 2012-2013 budget by 28 percent, slashing $58 million to about $42 million and setting the stage for an even tighter proposal for next year.
The new budget year begins Oct. 1.
The city has voted to keep the tax rate at $2.2215 per $1,000 of taxable property — one of the lowest rates in Miami-Dade County.
Much of the savings comes from abandoning plans to build a new $7-million police headquarters in favor of moving the department to a two-building compound shared with Public Works but relatively unused by that department. Other cuts came in changes to the city employee retirement system, curbing overtime hours for police officers and reducing the amount set aside for a new park on Northwest 114th Avenue.
Nevertheless, the police department’s budget stands to get $1 million more than this year to add 11 more officers.
Police Chief Richard Blom said he wants to beef up patrol for Doral, which has about 48,000 residents and about 100 officers.
By contrast, Coral Gables has about 49,000 residents and about 180 police officers.
Blom said he wants the department to focus on improving police response times, mitigating traffic at schools and getting more officers certified in special skills.
Mayor Luigi Boria said he prefers the budget stays tight to increase reserves, because of the city’s needs during growth.
“I’m trying to just be a good steward,” he said.
City Manager Joe Carollo said that as soon as the council approves the budget, he and city staff will put together a five-year plan for Doral, which will address future building and infrastructure projects and overall growth in the city.
The first public budget hearing is scheduled for 5:01 p.m. Wednesday at the Doral Government Center, 8401 NW 53rd Terr. A second hearing is set for 5:01 p.m. on Sept. 25.
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