Officials table public safety proposal

Lantana’s two Fresh Water Supply District boards voted Nov. 12 to not take action on an initiative to increase police presence.

The District 7 board of directors voted unanimously at their midday meeting to table a proposal to enter into an agreement with the Denton County Sheriff’s Department for a dedicated deputy to patrol Lantana for 8 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Later that evening, District 6 board members followed suit.

John Rausch, a District 7 board member, said that his board did not feel the expense of hiring a deputy to bolster the level of service from the Sheriff’s Department was yet warranted, but said they would take another look at the issue in six months – or sooner if conditions warranted.

District 7 includes about 20 percent of the total population of Lantana, and includes the neighborhoods of Azalea, Bandera, Bellaire, Brazos, Isabel, Madison, Wimberley and Phase 3 and 4 of Magnolia. District 6 makes up the remainder of Lantana.

After learning of their sister district’s decision, District 6 board members voted 4 to 0 to table the proposal for six months, with board member Donna Robichaux abstaining.

“Without both districts being on board, it is of my opinion that this initiative cannot move forward,” said District 6 board member Max Miller.

Miller explained that since Lantana is divided into two Fresh Water Supply Districts, it would be unfair for one group of residents to assume the cost of providing a deputy that both districts would benefit.

If approved by both boards, the dedicated patrol for 56 hours per week would add $6.05 per month to resident’s water bills. That number would increase to $7.15 if District 6 decided to take on the expense by themselves.

Miller said that the issue of public safety is not going to drop off the radar anytime soon.

“As more and more people move into Lantana, the number of police calls will naturally increase as well.”

Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2009, police runs in Lantana increased 33 percent over the same period last year.

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