DSU, Bayhealth Push Back on Public Safety Fee Proposed in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DSU, Bayhealth Push Back on Public Safety Fee Proposed in Dover

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 6:27 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del. --- Officials from Bayhealth and Delaware State University said this week they are opposed to a public safety fee on nonprofits and non-taxabale entities proposed by members of Dover City Council to help pay for police and fire capital expenses.

The proposal has drawn significant criticism from members of Dover's nonprofit community, who have argued the proposal is illegal under Delaware code. The current plan calls for charging nonprofits a fee based on the exterior square footage.

DSU President Tony Allen said the city and its nonprofit community ought to discuss ways to better partner with each other, rather than the proceed with the current proposal.

"It's better for us to spend time thinking about how do we engage our intellectual capital to help the financial problems of the city," he said.

The university, along with Wesley College, could pay thousands of dollars under the fee, should it be charged at a rate of 1 cent, for instance, on the exterior of a nonprofit's building.

Bayhealth, which operates a hospital in Dover and is also one of the larger President Terry Murphy said in a statement he thinks the proposed fee is wrong.

Murphy said Bayhealth officials met this week with city leaders to discuss their concerns and possible opportunities for partnerships.

"We all need to work together to serve and care for everyone in our community. This public safety tax is not the answer," he said.

City officials have said they want to pass a public safety fee or see some sort of other equitable solution in order to help address budgetary concerns, like deferred maintenance on public safety buildings or the replacement of police and fire equipment and vehicles.

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