Public Safety Issue Discussed During Springfield Commission Workshop

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Springfield- Springfield Mayor Ralph Hammond began Thursday's city commission workshop, announcing an offers from bay county's emergency operations center.

The county is offering to handle dispatch calls for the Springfield fire department.

"Currently, the way Springfield operates we got our own channel. EOC notifies our police department if there's a 911 call for a vehicle accident and our people dispatch the fire department out," said Ralph Hammond, Springfield Mayor.

The switch won't cost the city any money, because residents already pay 911 fees.

The new arrangement will improve response time.

But it won't save any money for a city in the midst of a financial crisis.

Commissioners and residents spent the rest of the workshop discussing those financial problems, specifically the commissioners salaries and benefits, and implementing a property tax.

"We should not be paying one nickel for any benefit. You should be paying. And I hope this commission and understands that the people is tired of it."

The mayor's job pays about $26,000.00 a year.

Commissioners make about $22,000.00.

And the board is still hoping to implement a property tax later this year.

Commissioners won't vote on the issue until July.

But they're already getting opposition.

"I'm against a property increase, or property tax increase and I don't believe that's going to work for them," said Thomas Hardy, Springfield Property Owner.

Commissioners meet next Monday for another workshop.

The next commission meeting is May 5th.