Corzine to small towns: Pony up for police patrols

(04/28/08) FARMINGDALE ? Gov. Jon Corzine?s proposal to have small municipalities chip in for state police patrols could spell doom for the bottom lines of some towns.

As the state grapples with chronic state budget woes, Corzine has proposed requiring towns that get free patrols to pay a quarter of the estimated patrol cost. He says that would raise $20.5 million for the cash-strapped Garden State. New Jersey state police have patrolled the state's rural areas for 87 years at no extra cost to smaller towns that never created police departments.

However, some administrators for small townships say the move would only further harm small municipalities. Donna Phelps, business administrator for the Monmouth County municipality of Farmingdale, says her borough still hasn?t balanced the budget after losing $131,000 in state aid.

?It?s mind boggling to think the state budget is being balanced on the back of the small municipalities.?

Farmingdale, and other small towns, may have to raise fees or cut staff to chip in for state police patrols if the proposal goes through. However, with such a small staff as it is, Phelps wonders how they?ll be able to make staff cuts and still do the jobs that need to be done.

AP wire reports contributed to this story

Small towns brace themselves for massive aid cuts


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