LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

The City of Granite Falls will soon decide whether to cut its police department or possibly risk the entire town going under.

A public hearing regarding the decision will be held Wednesday night at Granite Falls City Hall. The meeting starts at 7:15 p.m.

Like so many small towns, Granite Falls has seen revenues shrink on a daily basis and cash reserves are nearly gone.

In an effort to save money, the city is considering paying the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office to take over law enforcement duties. Under the plan, five police officers would lose their jobs but would be allowed to apply as sheriff's deputies.

To keep the Granite Falls Police Department and sustain minimum levels of service, the city would have to start taxing utilities at 25 percent, according to Mayor Haroon Saleem. The tax would be gradually brought down to between 5 and 10 percent over five years.

It would delete the city's enterprise fund and no money will be able to go into capital improvement. The city's effort to attract businesses by extending sewer lines and improving infrastructure could also be affected.

If the police department is cut, Granite Falls would be the sixth city in Snohomish County to employ the help of the deputies. Sultan, Stanwood, Gold Bar, Darrington and Snohomish also contract with the Sheriff's Office.

No votes are expected at Wednesday's meeting.

Read or Share this story: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/08/03/13135874/