Adamstown backs county drug fight

By on November 9, 2016

With the seemingly ever-expanding drug problems in Lancaster County, Adamstown Borough council members at their Nov. 1 meeting, supported an initiative to rev up the fight against illegal drug use.

Ephrata Police Lt. Thomas Shumaker told council that his department, which provides coverage for the borough, would like to be a part of the countywide drug task force. The department also provides coverage for nearby West Cocalico Township.

“What we’re (EPD) talking about doing is turning one of our veteran officers over to work in an under-cover role as a drug investigator,” said Shumaker. “We have participated in this type of thing in the past.”

The last time the Ephrata Police Department participated was in the early-to-mid 90s.

“It allows us to have a direct link with one of our officers in the unit so we can get more direct feedback. If we have a particular problem in a particular municipality, we can focus on one area.”

The department needs more funding from the borough and the other municipalities in its coverage area, to make this happen..

“Obviously with a agency the size as ours, we don’t have the staffing to run a full-time narcotics unit, so this offers us the benefit to team up with the DA’s office and Drug Task Force.”

Councilwoman Cindy Schweitzer suggested the support for the task force participation could be accomplished by levying an additional 50 cents per capita for a total of $1.50 per capita tax.

Mayor Dean Johnson was in agreement.

“The borough would only absorb 3 percent of that total of the benefits package (for an officer), and you’re only talking $1,462 dollars for the entire year,” said Johnson.

The cost will increase slightly until 2019 when the district attorney is expected to fund the task force with $8,000 which will lower the cost to Adamstown to $1,359.

Council members agreed to support the Ephrata Police involvement in the drug task force.

In other business:

* Kyle Sellers of the Adamstown Area Library provided an update.

“Patron visits were up 10 percent,” he said.

The Adamstown library is bursting at the book seams.

“The number is big — we had 7,000 people in attendance at our programs last year, so we’re getting bigger and bigger,” said Sellers. “We actually moved a few programs down the road because certain programs in this room, it’s just not working for us anymore. We thank you for the use of it, but it’s tough getting 50 people in here.”

The library has raised approximately $650,000 and is one-third way through its fundraising goal to renovate a building on Main Street for a larger library. Officials are holding off on starting the project until they receive at least one-third more funds.

* The 2017 budget will be adopted at December council meeting. Real estate taxes are not expected to increase from last year. No increase in water/sewer rates is expected.

* Mike Palm, public works director, said a resident at Brookview Estates complained to him.

“He said that during snow storms, it’s very hard to see and to get around in the development because a lot of cars park on the street,” said Palm. “The houses do have garages and driveways.”

Council will consider placing “no parking signs” on the street until snow is removed.

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