CHARLOTTE -- After weeks of negotiating, the county and the city are close to reaching an agreement on which police agency would patrol the unincorporated parts of the county.
Over the next five years, Mecklenburg County Commissioners would pay CMPD about $14 million dollars to patrol the unincorporated areas of Charlotte, Mint Hill and Davidson with no tax hike for residents living there. County Manager Dena Diorio said the money for CMPD would come from a special tax rate that residents already pay for to get these services. She said CMPD may get more revenue as the natural growth of these areas increase.
“Based on property values that will drive what the tax rate will be but the cost to the taxpayer will not change,” said Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager.
In the deal, the towns of Huntersville, Pineville and Cornelius will patrol their own areas. Diorio said she will meet with those townships to set the tax rate for these services. But overall, she believes they’re on the right track.
Diorio said this agreement includes more transparency from CMPD. For example, chief kerr putney would report back to commissioners twice a year with data about service levels and crime rates.
“Gives us and the board, and the community a higher level of comfort and accountability that we didn't have under the old contract,” said Diorio.
“It demonstrates the police department is listening. It demonstrates the police department is willing to come to the table and talk about ways that they can address the concerns that have been expressed here,” said Commissioner George Dunlap.
But some commissioners want to see more community engagement from CMPD in these unincorporated areas.
“Whether its some kind of metrix about service, whatever it takes I think people need to feel like they're being protected and feel like they're getting good service,” said Commissioner Trevor Fuller
And Diorio said if commissioners aren't happy with this deal in five years, they have an exit stragety.
“There would be some options to renew but we would have a hard stop so if the county in five years felt like we wanted to move in a different direction would have the ability to do so without having to cancel the conctract,” said Diorio.
Diorio said she’ll finalize the agreement the city this week and then county comissioners are expected to take a final vote next Tuesday, October 17.