The police and finance departments requested additional personnel Nov. 22 at a New Albany City Council special meeting to continue reviewing budget items for 2012.

The police and finance departments requested additional personnel Nov. 22 at a New Albany City Council special meeting to continue reviewing budget items for 2012.

Council began a detailed discussion of the 2012 budget Nov. 15. Council is expected to review the budget figures Dec. 6 and hear a first reading to approve the budget. A final vote is expected at the second meeting in December or the first regular meeting in January.

At the special meeting, the police department proposed a $176,000 increase from the 2011 budget so the department could hire one full-time officer and replace at least two cruisers.

Sgt. Mark Anderson said that in 2008, the department had 17 full-time officers. It currently has 16, which includes the police chief, the DARE officer and the school resource officer. Anderson said the department would like to have 17 officers again, if possible.

City finance director James Nicholson said a police officer’s starting salary is $48,700.

City manager Joseph Stefanov said after new officers are hired, their training takes about a year before they can go on patrol by themselves.

Stefanov said the city also wants to replace two police vehicles at the end of 2012. He said the Ford Crown Victoria, which the department uses, has been discontinued, and if a different type of vehicle is purchased, the city must spend extra money to ensure all equipment will work in the new vehicle. He said the three types of police models available are the Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Caprice and Ford Taurus.

Stefanov said by waiting until the end of the year, the city might get some feedback from other departments on the best choice of vehicle.

Anderson said the police department has budgeted $57,000 for the cars. Council also discussed using the state bidding process to receive a lower price on the cars.

Stefanov said the department also uses a 1999 vehicle for undercover work. The vehicle’s second transmission just went out and is anticipated to cost $2,500 to fix but the vehicle is only worth about $2,000.

Stefanov said the city could look for another used vehicle or buy a new one, which could cost $32,000.

Council members Colleen Briscoe and Stephen Pleasnick said the city should try to buy another used vehicle instead of repairing the old one.

The police department’s capital budget also includes $5,000 to purchase a drug incinerator and $10,000 to increase building security.

Anderson said the department currently holds drugs seized until they can have another department incinerate the drugs. Having an incinerator on site will prevent any lag time, he said.

Stefanov said the department needs security cameras behind the cruiser shelter where officers park their vehicles. He said officers have recently caught people who previously were arrested looking around the area for an officer’s personal vehicle.

The police department also has a final purchase in mind if the city obtains some grant money. Stefanov said the city is seeking a grant to purchase another electronic license-plate reader.

The city’s cost would be $1,500 if the grant can be obtained. The total cost of the license-plate reader is estimated at $15,000.

The finance department also needs to add one full-time employee at a potential starting salary of $42,000, Nicholson said.

The finance department has had three employees since the mid-1990s. Nicholson said their workload has changed quite a bit since that time.

In the past 10 years, New Albany’s population has increased from 3,700 to 7,700. In 2000, New Albany had 908 purchase orders and wrote 1,600 checks. In 2010, it had 1,637 purchase orders and wrote 6,200 checks.

Because New Albany earned city status after the 2010 census, Nicholson said, the finance department potentially could handle payroll involving more union contracts, which also can be more difficult to process.

Stefanov also showed council options for capital-improvements money. He said the capital-improvements fund typically has about $1 million.

Council usually considers capital projects during a retreat in January, which is slated for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 10.