GLENWOOD | Village officials are expected to vote next month to reduce the size of the police force and also hike the fees charged to reconnect water service, Village President Kerry Durkin said Wednesday.
Village trustees met Tuesday to discuss the issues and will likely vote on them when they meet March 4, Durkin said.
The reduction in the police force from 24 to 22 officers is due to Walmart relocating to neighboring Homewood, Durkin said.
That does not mean anyone is losing their job. Durkin said that two officers recently quit their jobs, and the village has no intent of replacing them.
Without the tax revenue from the Walmart store in Glenwood, Durkin said the money to pay two more Police Department salaries is lacking.
“I don’t want to hire two new officers, then have to lay them off because we don’t have the money to pay them,” Durkin said.
Glenwood Police Chief Demitrous Cook said he believes his department can manage without filling the two vacancies.
He said two officers on leave because of injury will be returning to duty in the next few weeks. He also said the cost-cutting move was done with his consent, and that it was essential to keep the Police Department budget balanced.
“We’re managing now, and we’re going to continue to do the best we can,” Cook said.
Also discussed on Tuesday was an increase in the water reconnection fee from $75 to $100. Trustees also considered the idea of charging an even higher fee for people who insist on having their water service restored on a Saturday, which would require paying village crews overtime.
Durkin said village officials are inclined to approve a measure charging people a $200 fee if their water is restored on Saturday.
Trustees also discussed a proposal to sell the Glenwoodie subdivision on the village's east side. Durkin said officials want the would-be buyer — whom he would not identify — to come up with a specific bid by week’s end.
If they do, Durkin said it would be likely that a special Village Board meeting would have to be held later this month to consider the offer.