I'm hearing terrible rumors and conjectures regarding the Columbia City Police Department which include a possible annexation by St. Helens.

Also rumored: If our department went belly up, the St. Helens Police Department would provide law enforcement services out of the goodness of their hearts.

Annexation isn't on the table and, if it ever was, it would take an extremely long time to complete. On top of that, why would St. Helens even be interested in an annexation, as they would have to provide more services versus the nominal amount of monies they would gain? Not a good business decision on their part.

Now, the St. Helens Police Department will provide police services under a contract.What has been proposed in the past was over $300,000 a year. How about that - a little more than our measure.

Putting rumors and conjectures aside, it comes down to the fact that if the citizens of Columbia City want to continue our police force on the same level we now have, the city must have funding. If not, what we will have to go to is unknown, but eventually the city will no longer be able to afford to retain a police department.

At that time our citizens will have to get in line with the remainder of the Columbia County residents for law enforcement services to be conducted by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

- Shannon Fitzgibbons, Columbia City Councilwoman

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