GRIFFITH | With the town facing a major budget cut for the second half of this year, residents and businesses will pick up the tab for a new police dog, town leaders said.
Clerk-Treasurer George Jerome noted the town will have to cut its projected spending by $500,000 for the rest of this year.
The town had already cut this year's budget as required by the state based on Griffith's anticipated revenue sources, Jerome said.
"Unfortunately, they don't take into account the (tax) collection rates or the effect of the tax caps."
The combination of some tardy tax payments and the tax cap makes this spending reduction necessary to have enough operating funds to begin 2013, Jerome said.
So last week, the council passed a resolution to support the Police Department's effort to obtain a canine unit and find ways to pay for it.
It will cost about $12,000 to buy and train the dog, said Council Vice President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd.
It also will cost about $8,000 to equip a police car to accommodate a canine unit, Ryfa said.
"It's kind of a community-oriented canine program," said Patrolman Robert Gutierrez.
Councilwoman Patricia Schaadt, R-4, said the local chamber of commerce supports a canine unit and will be conducting fundraisers.
Albert Tharp, president of the Griffith Fraternal Order of Police, presented a $750 donation for the dog.
"This brings the donations to the canine program to an excess of $20,000," Jerome said.