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Tue, Dec 11, 2007

Topeka City Council Wants Second Police Helo

Mayor Doesn't, But May Not Have A Choice

The Topeka, KS City Council recently voted to buy an additional police helicopter... a move that infuriated Mayor Bill Bunten.

Last week, the city council made the decision without Bunten’s knowledge, reports KSNT-27. Bunten was openly opposed to the plan; he vetoed a previous resolution for the helicopter in July, though the measure still managed to find its way into the 2008 budget.

The council reportedly found a "veto-proof" communication document that will allow the $800,000 Robinson R44 to be purchased. The city wants a lease purchase agreement for the helicopter for five years.

Bunten warned city officials citizens may lose confidence in their ability to disperse city funds, and this could jeopardize an upcoming sales tax vote.

“We'll not get this sales tax passed and the result of that would be a continued deterioration of this city,” Mayor Bunten said. “When someone does begin to address the needs, it will cost a lot more.”

Bunten reminded them the yearly payments for the helicopter must pass an appropriation process, and that he will not support any payments for the aircraft.

FMI: www.topeka.org/cityofficials/index.shtml, www.robinsonheli.com/products.htm

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