Del City's City Manager says he's tired of losing public safety officers to neighboring departments.
He thinks raising wages through by increasing the sales tax is the answer. Last month, three Del City firefighters left to work for the OKC fire department.
The City manager says neighboring metro agencies will pay firefighters around $5 more an hour.
“We cannot compete at this point,” says City Manager of Del City Mark Edwards. “They get hired at some other agency and we lose that training and experience and we have to start all over again.”
Right now, all Del City firefighters and equipment run out of Station 1 due to lack of personnel. Station 2 is virtually abandoned and houses retired equipment, a couple of fire offices and two employees.
Edwards thinks taking the sales tax from 8.5 to 9 percent will put Del City fire and police on a more even playing field. The extra $1.3 million each year would pay for addition police and firefighters and raises.
But at least one local business owner thinks the sales tax hike is a bad idea
“It’s going to be rough on us,” says Mid-Del Taco co-owner Sally Scott-Bear. “I think there are other ways than putting this on the small businesses.”
Voters will got to the polls November 14th.