The City Council approved a tax levy for 2021 after a public meeting held in December. The City Council is committed to a responsible budget that addresses needs while considering economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 City tax levy is $29,666,408 as compared to $29,405,461 in 2020. The small increase from last year provides for two more police officers and one additional firefighter.
The police department has experienced a significant increase in mental health calls over the last 10 years. To assist in this specialty area of policing, the Coon Rapids Police Department has developed a plan to work in partnership with “People, Inc.” – an approved contractor within Anoka County - to “embed” a social worker within the department. This would be a shared position with the Blaine Police Department that would connect people quickly and efficiently to community resources and services related to mental health. The social worker will also be available to assist on calls in the field on a limited basis.
The department currently has one officer assigned to conduct proactive and reactive follow up visits involving mental health-related calls, in an effort to connect citizens in need of services with community resources. However, a social worker embedded in the department will have additional access to information and resources to help those experiencing a mental health crisis. This position would work in tandem with the current assigned officer, to be a proactive, efficient team in helping those involved in a mental health crisis access the help they need. By offering more assistance to services, the goal is to reduce the amount of repeated calls for police response.
The investments budgeted for 2021 are considered beneficial to the community while remaining committed to responsible spending. The City will continue to invest in many key areas including:
Capital purchases made from the general fund and capital equipment fund will replace aging equipment, invest in new equipment, and enhance technology. Some of the capital purchases prioritized in the 2021 budget include: