Safe Streets & Safe Community Fee
The goal of the Safe Streets and Safe Community Service Fee (Municipal Service Fee) is to improve the safety of the City by better maintaining City streets and improving the level of police protection in residential areas, business districts and throughout the City.
View a map of the City limits.
Under West Virginia State Code 8-13-13, a municipality which furnishes any essential or special services, including, but not limited to, police and fire protection, parks and recreational facilities, street maintenance and garbage disposal services, has the authority to impose, by ordinance, upon service users a reasonable rate, fee or charge to be collected in a manner specified in the ordinance. The Safe Streets and Safe Communities was enacted the week of January 1, 2016.
Based on 2010 census information regarding the commuting population, Morgantown's estimated population is 29,076. Of that population, Census figures suggest that 12,160 also work in the City. In addition, it was estimated that another 20,487 people work in the City that do not live in the City. Based on those numbers, the Census Bureau estimates the daytime population to be 49,563 in the City of Morgantown. Their numbers do not include students, visitors, or tourists. It is estimated that the daytime population increases by approximately 70% just due to commuters from outside the city. All residents, workers employed, and visitors within the City of Morgantown expect to be provided city services for well-maintained streets and adequate necessary police protection.
Funding In November 2014, a task-to-man hour analysis showed City Council the capital and personnel needs of city departments. This analysis found that most employees were doing the job of multiple positions. To prioritize the needs, a telephone and online survey was conducted to ask residents where resources should be spent to improve services. Residents voted in favor of using the funds for street maintenance and police protection. This made the goal of the Safe Streets and Safe Communities Service Fee to improve the safety of driving on city streets by increasing the maintenance level and resurfacing of city streets, and improve police protection by enhancing the police department and the level of police protection in residential neighborhoods, business districts, and throughout the city.
The city maintains nearly 100 miles of streets which has an estimated resurfacing value of $33 million for materials and labor.
Before the fee, the city budgeted $5,268,123 for 15 years of street maintenance. That's an average of $292,673.50 per year. If street maintenance continued to be funded at this rate it would take 112 years to resurface city roads. The Safe Streets and Safe Communities Fee has enabled the city to budget $1.8 million per year for road resurfacing. While resurfacing, street improvements will also include street right-of-ways (widening streets, improving street function, right-of-way improvements and improving public alleys.)
Public Works The Public Works Department plays a big role in maintaining city streets. The Public Works Department cleans streets of debris and snow, as well as paving streets. The Municipal Service Fee has allowed the Public Works Department to hire 5 additional staff members to more efficiently meet the needs of the city.
Street CleaningFunding from the Municipal Service Fee has allowed for the city to better maintain the cleanliness of city streets and right-of-ways. Through the implementation of the Municipal Service fee the public works department was able to purchase new street equipment which includes a street sweeper, snow plows, and paving equipment to help maintain city streets.
Before the implementation of the Safe Streets and Safe Communities Fee the Police Department was responding to 49,470 calls with only 65 officers. Additionally, officers were working numerous overtime hours for the following events:
- 11 parades amounting in $3,000 overtime pay per parade
- 7 WVU home football games resulted in various overtime hours not compensated by WVU athletics
- Thursday, Friday and Saturday downtown details resulted in $200,000 overtime annually
Municipal Fee in Action
Since the implementation of the Municipal Service Fee in 2016, the Morgantown Police Department has hired 10 police officers. Additionally, the police department has replaced 20 cruisers and purchased new equipment for officers such as body cameras, to ensure the safety of the community.
Estimated Revenue From Service Fee
- Service fee based on employment in the City of Morgantown. A conservative number of workers, based on the census information, is 30,000.
- A fee of $3 per week or $156 annually, would equal an estimated $4,500,000
|Funded Activity||Percentage of Revenue||Estimated Amount on $4,680,000|
|Street Resurfacing and Improvement||35-45%||$1,800,000|
|Public Works Personnel||07-10%||$585,000|
|Street Maintenance Equipment||07-10%||$270,000|
|Police Protection Personnel / Retention||25-30%||$1,530,000|