Harpersville faces cuts to city services

Spending cuts and the loss of services are making headlines. Over the past two weeks, two of our central Alabama cities are making serious cuts. The city of Lipscomb closed down its police, street and maintenance departments because they're just not bringing in enough money to pay for it all. {}Tonight, another Alabama city is in jeopardy of losing its police and fire departments. {}The city of Harpersville is facing a serious deficit. Right now they have one of two options: either raise sales tax one cent or {}begin making cuts which may mean the loss of police officers and firefighters. City leaders say, that will jeopardize their community safety.{}During Monday night's public hearing, neighbors stood up for the city services they say - just can't be cut."I'm standing right here and giving my all to save the Harpersville library," Christy Miller, a young speaker said. "Books teach us, that way we have a chance to teach others."But in the end, there's a deficit. And something has to be cut."Increasing the sales tax - I don't think we should burden the people of Harpersville," another speaker said.Just since 2009, Harpersville has trimmed over half a million from its budget without cutting services. {}But over the past few years, money coming in {}has dwindled."We are facing a $150-$170,000 shortfall in our budget," Theoangelo Perkins, Harpersville Mayor said."Right now it's a concern for my guys," Wade White, Interim Fire Chief said. "This is a job. This is how they feed their families. I have a wife and two kids at home and this is where my paycheck comes from."{}Harpersville's Fire Chief says there's a serious demand for rescue crews. "We are really busy," White said. "We have two major highways: Highway 280 and Highway 25. We have a lot of wrecks, a lot of medical calls.""It would mean slower response times, longer waits," Mayor Perkins said.Mayor Perkins said {}the council will vote on whether to increase sales tax or cut departments during the first week of June.