Law partnership: Ephrata gets closer to expanded police Coverage

By on October 14, 2015
Municipal officials and police all seemed to be in a celebratory mood following the special meeting Monday night

Special meeting moves Ephrata closer to handling police coverage for West Cocalico, Adamstown

With council chambers packed to capacity, elected officials from three local municipal bodies came together Monday night at Ephrata Borough Hall to sign historical accords to expand the cover-age of the Ephrata Police Department to provide service to Adamstown Borough and West Cocalico Township.

Ephrata Borough solicitor James McManus explained that the joint meeting was more than a mere formality but in fact necessary so that the ordinances could go into effect simultaneously in all three municipalities. Further, McManus explained that in accordance with all applicable laws, the ordinances in each respective municipality had been properly advertised in local media and available for inspection by the public.

A public comment period, open to questions or comments from anyone, even if not a tax-payer or resident of the affected area, was closed without any comment.

Ephrata Borough Manager Robert Thompson briefed those present on the five-year agree-ment.The contract calls for Adamstown to pay Ephrata $197,000 plus a start-up cost of $23,000 in 2016; $202,000 in 2017; $209,000 in 2018; $216,000 in 2019 and $224,000 in 2020.

West Cocalico will pay $787,119 plus a start-up cost of $47,000 in 2016; $810,000 in 2017; $836,000 in 2018; $865,000 in 2019 and $896,000in 2020.

Under the terms, five new officers would be hired and two new police cruisers purchased, with West Cocalico bearing 80 percent of the additional cost and Adamstown the remaining 20 percent. Base level of service provided would be one officer in each area on duty 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In addition, Ephrata would have sole authority and responsibility to set standards. Ephrata police staff would also attend municipal meetings each month for both West Cocalico and Adamstown. As is standard for Ephrata Borough and Ephrata Township, quarterly and annual police activity reports would also be provided for both municipalities.

The packed crowd included at least seven members of the Ephrata Police Department and a large contingent from Boy Scout Troop 38.

“I applaud the leaders of both Adamstown and West Cocalico for a job well done,” said Police Chief William Harvey, following the accord.

“They were prudent in their approach, professional and knew what they wanted. It was a pleasure working with them.”

Similar comments were echoed by all.

Just prior to Adamstown Borough Council President Randy Good leading his council on the historic vote, he publicly thanked leaders of Ephrata Borough for their hard work and professionalism in the effort.

“We just want to thank every-one from Ephrata Borough for their professionalism in all their efforts to spearhead this effort,” said Good.

Lt. Tom Shumaker, also on hand for Monday night’s meeting, thanked Chief Harvey, the solicitor and all those at the three municipalities who had worked together to support the effort and make this work.

“I also want to add my kudos to the staff,” added borough council president Dale Hertzog. “A lot of people have worked hard to help facilitate an agreement that we have two neigh-boring municipalities working with each other like this.”

Following action from all three municipalities, the joint meeting was adjourned and the regular Ephrata Borough Council resumed its regular meeting.

During the meeting, council approved the hiring of five police officers to accommodate the needs of the new accord. In addition, members voted to temporarily amend civil service rules in order to focus on being able to hire any East Cocalico police department officers which may be furloughed as a result of the new agreement.

In other Ephrata Borough Council news, members approved a request from Downtown Ephrata Incorporated to use the Veterans Plaza and Major “Dick” Winters Memorial Trail to place luminaries honoring veterans on Veterans Day, Wednesday Nov. 11. This will be the second year for such an event, where the luminaries will be lining the trail.

Council woman Susan Rowe questioned the status of completing the work on the new Veterans Plaza. She noted that the work on getting the lights installed and working has yet to be completed.

“We have been with the con-tractor for months to complete the work so that we can fly the flag but cannot seem to get him to get him there,” responded Mayor Ralph Mowen.

For additional information on Ephrata Borough, visit ephrata-boro.org.

Gary P. Klinger is a correspondent for The Ephrata Re-view and welcomes your questions and comments via email at klingerglobal@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *