HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY—The Midtown Improvement District holding their first public meeting at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Their proposal is to have property owners in the Midtown District of the city pay a yearly fee that would cover the cost of hiring two to eight off-duty police officers to patrol the area.
"I see this as asserting responsibility as citizens and basically recognize that the government simply can`t provide the services we need right now," says Eric Papenfuse, with the Midtown Improvement District
The average property owner would pay a fee that could be anywhere between $60 and $70 a year for the project. Many of the people at the meeting expressing their feelings against the proposal.
" It`s a shift of responsibility of what we`re paying taxes for already. The whole society is going away from people being responsible for paying for their own properties," says Bill Fritz of Harrisburg
" If you keep your hands in my pocket , pretty soon we`re not going to have to worry about muggers because there's not going to be any money in our pockets," says Joe Greene of Harrisburg
They also say they still have a lot of unanswered questions about the actual crime statistics in their section of town.
" Throwing $2.1 million over the course of five years is a lot of money to not understand the problem fully. So I think we`re putting the cart before the horse here," says Travis Woodyard of Harrisburg
In order for the proposal to go forward, 60% of Midtown property owners would have to be in favor of the plan. From there, City Council would have to approve.