Business follows East Cocalico executive sessions

By on November 12, 2014

Twice in one month’s time, the East Cocalico board of supervisors conducted important public business — with the public largely gone — after reconvened meetings following executive sessions.

At supervisors’ meeting on Oct. 16 and Nov. 6, the board went into executive sessions for “personnel issues,” an acceptable practice under the Sunshine Act.

The executive sessions were followed by reconvening of the regular meetings both times. In addition, at the re-convened meetings, the supervisors acted on business not listed on the meeting agenda.

Supervisor Noelle Fortna, absent from the Nov. 6 supervisors meeting, joined the meeting by telephone following the executive session.

Supervisors unanimously approved sending a response letter to Denver Borough Council, which questioned how the amount due for police coverage in 2015 was calculated.

The issue is whether the 2015 MMO amount should be used in the calculation equation and then subtracted out (which was how the amount due for police coverage was calculated), or if the MMO amount should be subtracted prior to using the multiplier to calculate costs for police service. Denver Council feels the latter would be more accurate since the borough is not being charged for the MMO in 2015, and the total cost due would be less.

The second motion following the Nov. 6 executive session, approved 2-1 (Supervisor Alan Fry voting no) sending West Cocalico Township a one-year amendment to the inter-municipal agreement for law enforcement services. The amendment uses the identical formula for calculating price as was used for Adamstown and Denver Boroughs.

On Oct. 16, supervisors reconvened following executive session and approved sending the police service letters to Adamstown, Denver, and West Cocalico.

These letters were needed by the other municipalities to build an accurate draft 2015 budget. Police costs are typically one of the largest expenses.

In other matters at the reconvened sessions:

* Police Chief George Beever noted on Nov. 6 that a local resident was distracted by a woman claiming she needed to do survey work in the back yard because a neighbor was installing a fence and didn’t want to encroach on the property line.

While the home owner was in the backyard, another person entered the unlocked front door and stole items from the home. Residents are urged to be cautious and report such situations to the police.

* The supervisors learned commercial development is happening in the township.

“While we hear about the economy being sluggish, commercial development in the township totals $5.9 million,” said Zoning Officer Tony Luongo. Included are new commercial improvements to Bear Mill Estate, 50 Weaver Road, for $300,000; Four Seasons addition on Wabash Road for $3.9 million; the DenTech $1.5 million renovation on North Reading Road; and Park Place Diner, North Reading Road, $250,000 for renovations.

Not included in the above is Dollar General at $500,000; Pet Food Experts at $7.9 million; and two permits for agricultural construction totaling $500,000.

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