Claycomo police and fire department feeling the budget cuts

CLAYCOMO, Mo. - The board was split, but a 3 to 2 vote finalized the budget. The police department will lose one and the fire department possibly two.

This doesn't sound like much, but to the people who were at Monday night's board meeting, it's a lot for their small village.

The heated debate started early during Monday night's board meeting. Claycomo's population of approximately 1,450 was used by both sides.

"We are just a little top-heavy for a town the size," Village Chair Ben Watkins said.

After the board's decision to cut the budget , the police department will lose one officer and the fire department could lose two.

The money saved will go to yet-to-be-determined capital improvements.

"That's one reason I ran for the board to start with because we neglected our facilities, we've neglected our equipment and we're paying it all out in wages," Watkins said.

"The previous board we had chosen to continue going and not cut anybody because maybe we do have more police per capita than a lot of other communities we were very adamantly very happy with that protection that we have," Jim Stoufer of the Board of Trustees said.

But Watkins believes the village will be just as safe.

"It's always a concern, but you have to live within your means you can't keep spending money like it's going out of style," Watkins said.

That's something he and Stoufer can agree on.

"Like anything else, if you don't have the money, you don't have the money. We maintain pretty well all the properties," Stoufer said.

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