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Page Three--Hometown's Problem

Welcome to Hometown, a small city in the northeast with a population of approximately 365,000. Hometown is an average city with its share of low, middle, and high income families. The Hometown business district contains the normal array of small locally owned shops and at the city limits a small light industry group exists.

Recently, because of an increasingly positive economic trend, Hometown has attracted a substantial number of new families to the area. Much of the increased population can be attributed to the increased  jobs associated with a new seafood processing plant on the city's southern edge. The plant is doing well and will, according to most estimates, add a total of 2000-3000 additional jobs to the city's economy when it reaches full capacity. The increased population is expected to increase jobs in the already established businesses in Hometown by 500-1000. Most families moving here seeking these new jobs are in the lower and middle income groups from other more depressed parts of the state. The best estimates put the Hometown population at 400,000 by years end.

With the increased population has come an increase in the crimes committed within the city and surrounding areas. The police chief has indicated that the crime rate increase has not been evenly distributed across the city. The city is divided in to 7 wards, North, Northeast, Northwest, Central, South, Southeast, and Southwest. He has designated several wards as target "crime zones". These wards have also been the ones with the largest population increases. Specifically, he has designated Hometown's  southeast, south, and southwest wards as "target crime zones". Robberies, assaults, drug related crime, arsons and homicides have increased 30-40% in some areas. The areas outside these "crime zones" (North, Northeast, Northwest, and Central) have experienced an increase in robberies, burglaries, and assaults. The chief has provided his estimate of the necessary manpower and equipment to handle the increased crime (Appendix A).

The school board has indicated that school facilities are inadequate for current enrollment and expects that future enrollment will be on the increase both at the elementary and high school level. The town has decided to build two new elementary schools and a new high school in the South ward to handle the current overcrowding and the expected increased enrollments. The superintendent of schools has provided you estimates of the expected costs (Appendix B).


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Professor Thomas C. Omer