NOWTHEN (WCCO) — Surrounded by rolling farmland at the northern edge of the Twin Cities metro, a former township turned city is struggling to pay its bills.

There is one cost in particular that Nowthen Councilman Harlan Meyer said could break the bank: the cost of a county deputy!

“We’re not unlike any other city. Everybody’s stretched now. It’s unfortunate, our budget doesn’t allow for a $253,000 a year cost,” said Meyer.

That’s what Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart says is needed to continue giving Nowthen residents routine policing. What was given to a former township is no longer free or fair to those other municipalities in the county, which have entered into contracts for service.

“They are the last remaining incorporated city that does not have anything in place for public services other than what the sheriff’s office has been providing, free of charge,” said sheriff’s spokesman, Commander Paul Sommer.

But Nowthen residents have made it clear to the city council that they won’t stand for higher taxes. City leaders say the city’s meager one-point-three million dollar budget has no fat to trim.

Residents like Bri Blomberg can see both sides of the problem – a desire to feel safe but a need to keep a lid on rising property taxes.

“I think it’s unnecessary because the crime is so low here,” said Blomberg. “We don’t have much crime in this area!”

“If you wake up in the morning and find your window smashed and GPS gone, that’s not a call we’re going to respond to because we don’t provide you with any police services,” said Sommers.

Meyer hopes there’s still time to reach a compromise.

“The feeling is, generally, let’s try it for six months and see what happens,” said Meyer. “Is the crime rate going up, down or staying the same?”

Comments (25)
  1. Cheers says:

    This is good news I like to leave Northwoods bar blacked out, when i drive a local tramp back to my house, no cops to wreck my night.

    1. Hank Hill says:

      Now then behave

  2. Murph says:

    Use an all volunteer lynch mob instead.The crime rate would go down much faster and signs touting it on main drags would substantially help as well! If the Govt can’t or like the Party of NO,won’t do their job.Do it for them! In fact the Party of No probably has a date with one themselves in the near future! hahaha

  3. NowthenResident says:

    I live in Nowthen. Part of why I don’t think the higher taxes is worth what is being offered by the sheriff is that the coverage will only be Monday thru Friday during the day. Ummm, have you ever been to Nowthen during the week during the day? I’m a little confused as to what a deputy would do with their time as there would be nothing for them to do other than hassle drivers for speeding. I say give us the same offer, but instead cover us from 10pm to 4am 7 days a week. I”d agree with that. I do not agree with what is on the table at the moment.

  4. LO says:

    I will make a deal with them..they train me to be a deputy…relocate me…and I will work for only $36,000 a year + medical benefits. I’m a 27 year old male, no criminal history, never done any police work, but I’m serious. I live in Minneapolis and to me I’d be happy with a $36,000 a year salary and medical benefits. That’s more than enough.

    1. The REAL, real Jake says:

      The College/ POST board Graduates over 300 eligible to be licensed as police officer candidates a year. To the lay person it means these are people that have meet the college education requirement of either an Associates or Bachelor Degree in a POST Board approved curriculum, have completed the St. of MN. Peace Officers “Skills” course and have pass the POST Board exam. ALL PAID FOR BY THE INDIVIDUAL! So the people NOWTHEN would have more than enough good candidates to fill a position as the local police officer for what your asking for LO. Law Enforcement jobs are hard to come by. On any job posting there are at least 300- 700 applicants for those few positions. I know many of them that would also jump at the chance to make what your asking for just to get the License activated.

    2. Todd says:

      By the time you subtract FICA your 36,000 will be much lower. Now then needs professional law enforcement available to respond to emergencies such as a heart attack, a child in respiratory distress. They do not need ill trained personnel, nor do they need a lynch mob mentality. I hope things are worked out.

  5. J.D. says:

    Forgive my ignorance here, but, for less than the yearly sum of $253,000 one would think you could hire a small police force and cover the city 24/7. With a low crime rate, it should be easy to fill those positions. One police chief and either one or two deputies should do the trick.

  6. LO says:

    Like I said, I will work an 8 hour shift 5 days a week for only $36,000 a year + medical any hours of the day. They can leave me a comment here if they want to negotiate a contract with me and I will give them my contact information. I can even work the weekends from Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday overnight shift or day shift. Then they just need someone else to cover for the 2nd shift. They can keep the budget to under a 100K a year. That is a $153,000 dollar savings per year.

    1. Dah @Lo says:

      Um yea you’re trained to carry a firearm and deal with domestic altercations and can provide cpr, stay at Arbys we will all be better off.

      1. Research says:

        He could learn those skills and be on the job in a week.

  7. Amy says:

    I am really appawled by this article! Sommes is quoted saying that if you have your window smashed in and your GPS stolen, then they won’t respond because you don’t pay us to be there! Excuse me, but I believe as tax payers we pay county and state taxes that pay him his wages. Isn’t it double taxation to also charge for services that we already pay for?

    1. Dah says:

      Earth to you do you know what happens when they respond to those calls? Nothing they don’t fingerprints they make a report end of story so why even bother calling them for that reason.

      1. Amy says:

        Well Dah, after having a spouse and other family members involved in law enforcement for as far back as I know, I can say “NO” they won’t fingerprint. From my knowledge fingerprinting at this level will probably not produce the criminal that did this. However, the point of this is for one that they have a police report so the damage can be reported to your insurance and secondly that if a bunch of stolen gps are recovered they will be sure to contact the victim to identfy if the gps belongs to them and thirdly it is a peace of mind knowing that they are there for the citizens. I believe that is why we pay taxes. Also, law enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve and that is what they should be doing instead of telling someone we are not going to help! The point to my initial comment is that Counties are charging small cities a fee to something that should already be provided because they do pay their taxes.

  8. stupid says:

    But now that WCCO has informed all the criminals that there may not be any police coverage at all, They are going to all head over to Nowthen and increase the crime rate. Way to go WCCO

    1. stupider says:

      EXACTLY what I was thinking.

    2. Nowthen Rez says:

      That’s the first thing I thought when they ended the story. Inviting the trash in….HEY – Nowthen is open for business – hence my reply below.

  9. TheAnswers says:

    You going to pay for your own squad car, electronics, gas and vehicle maintenance and damage? You going to pay for the frivolous lawsuits brought against you by racist liberal organizations like the ACLU and NAACP? You going to pay a lawyer to defend yourself from the racist US Justice Department’s Eric Holder when he makes unsubstantiated claims that you, as a police officer, violated people’s civil rights like Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

    Arm the convenience store clerks and other business people. Neighbors can look out for each other. Drivers can call in DUI’s to the sheriff and state troopers along with wreckless/careless speeders.

  10. mad says:

    You can always be like Foley, MN and hire private security. Also, just fyi…in hte contract for Anoka County, the city does end up paying for a fully equipt squad. And Sommers attitude has been the same way for years…if you don’t want to pay, we just won”t be there. He has made that comment to more than one city or township.

    1. Get it says:

      Fyi the county sheriffs office will respond to all emergency calls even without a contract, this only means no daily patrols which are hardly necessary anyway, do you live in nowthen and near it? I do, this speck of a town does not need a police car cruising it all day, Foley keeps going back and forth on the matter of using private security they dont want to, it will be the same as not having police if there is a emergency matter the county police will be called anyway private security will hold no arresting rights.

  11. Time for action says:

    Intersting place we have come to in society. We pay for illegals to get health care, food housing, …, criminals to live forever ni prison, even though they have taken Life(s). We pay for people to make babies to stay home and make more babaies. We even pay to protect people in other countries and to bring democracy to them, but we do not pay to protect our own citizens. Wow, what a crazy place this has turned into.

    1. JD says:

      Yup! I thank the lord that my parents taught us kids how to survive without relying on society. If/when the government crumbles and anarchy begins to proliferate, I will take comfort in the fact I can go as far from civilization as possible and will have no trouble surviving. Seems we can’t count on the damned police to protect us properly. It’s like a mafia shakedown. Pay for protection. As has been stated of course we pay more AFTER we pay our taxes….

  12. JD says:

    I wonder what ever happened to the mission statement of “To Protect and Seve”. Perhaps Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart needs to retire if he has forgotten that motto.

  13. Nowthen Rez says:

    A sarcastic Thanks for letting all the criminals know about our town! You basically spelled out when they could invade. What you failed to mention is that many of us small town Nowthen residents use their right to bare arms in our homes and support the conceal and carry law. So much for incorporating Burns Township with Nowthen to save money. For who?!! Our taxes keep going up and we use nothing in the line of public utilities! We have our own sewer & well, no street lights or sidewalks, and yet we’re supposed to pay more each year even with house values dropping?!! How about you stop spending our money.

  14. Judy Baxter says:

    I say Nowthen rez`s start there OWN Malicia, see how fast the county or state steps up to find the funds..Arizonia did it. when the govt would`nt help.. It`s a sad time when Taxpayers are asked to foot the bill again. Also dislike reporting of News to let the thugs know where the can go!…. residents get a gun permit..asap..

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