Bethel Church is offering the city of Redding (CA) $500,000 over two years and challenging faith groups and businesses to raise another $740,000 over the same period to retain the four officers that would allow the police department to keep the neighborhood police unit .
City Manager Kurt Starman met with church leaders and Councilwoman Julie Winter, herself a church elder, Wednesday. He announced the offer to the City Council a few hours later as members debated their spending priorities for the upcoming 2017-19 budget.
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Bethel’s offer arrives after a money crunch backdrop that may force job cuts in the fire department. Communities everywhere in California are being stricken by more benefits and pension cost increases. The financial gift would guarantee at least an extra $250,000 to the city’s tight coffers for each of the two years. the total cost to keep four officers over that period is $1.24 million.
The leadership of the church has also has expressed an interest in committing $50,000 toward a marketing effort that promotes a sense of ownership in the community and giving.
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