All quiet on the West Cocalico front: Discussion on regional police pact delayed in short supervisors’ session

By on November 12, 2014

Anticipation was in the air, local media was on the scene, and the attention was on the West Cocalico supervisors and their take on a regional police force pact.

But there was no discussion on the proposed four-municipality force. at the Nov. 6 meeting. In fact, the supervisors said nothing.

The board went from the Pledge of Allegiance to adjournment in a little more than 15 minutes. Along with the pact discussion, a full pot of burnt coffee was left sitting on the burner.

Supervisor James (J.J.) Stoner who serves as West Cocalico representative on the regional police commission, said the board is in a holding pattern, waiting to go over the new regional police draft, the earlier one having been rejected.

“Doug Mackley (East Cocalico chairman) is kind of reneging on their original offer to municipalities and trying to force decision on the regional police department by Jan. 1, 2016,” said Stoner.

This seems like time enough, but with space in between meetings, papers passed back and forth in many different hands, and information not coming forward, the January 2016 deadline may be tough to make.

“I’d just like to have a contract in West Cocalico Township’s hands of our constituents for next year, and there’s no reason why not to have one,” said Stoner. “We want a contract to reflect the same thing Denver and Adamstown has. We all buy the same police service. It doesn’t include the wording of theirs. The way we’re being charged. It’s close and I really think they’ll get there.”

Stoner was asked if he thought West Cocalico is being treated differently than the other municipalities also considering being a part of a regional police force. They include Adamstown Borough, Denver Borough, and East Cocalico Township.

“I don’t know. If I said yes, I couldn’t answer why,” said Stoner. “I think there’s some hard feelings, actually, from the past.”

The next big regional police board meeting is Nov. 25 at East Cocalico at 7 p.m. where representatives of the four municipalities will get together and review the updated draft.

Stoner was asked his take on the regional police.

“I’m in favor of fact-finding, to find out if financially it’s feasible for four municipalities to come together,” said Stoner. “As secretary-treasurer of the township, it’s my duty to get the best deal. But also we’re trying to serve the community. There are some positives and negatives, there’s pros and cons to everything.”

Is Stoner still not getting information and important details from East Cocalico?

“No, I don’t know why,” said Stoner. “We were at the leaders meeting last week. I got upset because they are not providing information timely. I can’t get insurance and liability quotes because there’s too many blacked out lines. I don’t understand why they aren’t coming forth in good faith.”

West Cocalico officials have the same concerns Adamstown supervisors had at their meeting last week “almost down to a T,” but since there was not updated draft to review, no discussion took place.

In other matters at the West Cocalico meeting:

* The new county radio system went live Nov. 6 for EMS and fire police without complications, the supervisors learned.

* An RC-250 tank which contained oil is empty. A motion was approved for the removal and cleanup of the above ground storage tank with a quote by Liberty Environmental Inc. of $9,215.00.

* Paving in front of the salt shed was done and three loads of salt were delivered. Permitting road crews to work longer hours than limits set by CDL license in snow emergencies was discussed. Snow equipment is moved out of storage and repairs are being made to them. A motion passed unanimously to designate certain streets as No Parking Zones during snow emergencies.

* The proposed 2015 budget is $3,011,876.

* The township is upgrading its lighting using the PPL rebate program at a cost of $1,220.82 which is an annual savings to the township of approximately $2,316.05.

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