The bill came today- for police E-mail
Written by APB Staff   

In Salt Lake County, Utah, residents recently found among their bills for electricity and gas, another bill –  for police service. Salt Lake County hired a California company to send the bills to 40,000 households and thousands of businesses in unincorporated suburbs such as Magna, Millcreek and Emigration Canyon. According to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune, the first payments were due on April first. Homeowners will end up paying $174 for the year.

"We know you're not going to be happy getting this letter or the bill in this envelope," County Councilman Jim Bradley wrote in an accompanying letter. "We'd much prefer to be writing you about a new service, but we also have a duty to keep our community safe. And that's what this fee is about –  preserving the safety and security that our families and businesses need to thrive."

What’s really interesting is the billing. Utah State law bars the county from charging for law enforcement services within residents’ property taxes. And utilities such as Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas turned down requests for the law enforcement bill to be stuffed into envelopes containing utility bills. As a result, the county went shopping for someone else to send the mailers. One of those companies was in Utah but the county decided they charged too much to send the bills.

So the county and law-enforcement district staffer Kerri Nakamura settled on the Temecula, California based company NBS instead. Not only did it offer customer service for concerned callers, but it also had worked with the county previously to deliver bills for the Millcreek Fire Flow Special Improvement District.

The county is expected to pay the company about $165,000 a year to handle its billing, according to the contract. It also will spend about $120,000 on postage and other supplies.

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