East Cocalico and Denver agree on police coverage

By on August 21, 2019

At a meeting light on agenda items, supervisors in East Cocalico Township gave their nod to a police contract that will guarantee Denver Borough quality police coverage well into the next decade.

At their Aug. 15 meeting, the supervisors approved sending a letter to Denver officials outlining police costs through 2025. Denver’s approval of the letter is expected. Police Chief Darrick Keppley said he plans to attend Denver’s upcoming borough council meeting to answer questions and provide the supervisors any additional feedback.

Denver’s costs for 2020, the final year of the current contract, will amount to $558,099.18 plus an additional $11,878.97 as their share for a School Resource Officer for the Cocalico School District.
The new contract will be a five year agreement that calls for a 2.5 percent rate hike per year. Under the new contract, in 2020 Denver and its approximately 3,900 residents will pay $572,051.65 or about $142.66 per person. Additional years will be $586,352.95 in 2022, $601,011.77 in 2023, $616,037.06 in 2024 and $631,437.00. In addition, Denver will help keep a police presence in Cocalico schools’ SRO program, sharing costs annually with East and West Cocalico townships, Adamstown Borough and the Cocalico School District. What they pay will be worked out through a cost-sharing formula between the participating entities.

In other business, the supervisors agreed to help fund iPads for the three township fire companies and Reamstown Ambulance. Police Chief Keppley, following up on information he supplied at the township’s last meeting, said eliminating the current “jet packs” used to connect emergency vehicles to the Internet and replacing them with iPads would be faster and more economical. Keppley said he had spoken to officials at Verizon and the township can save $200 each for the 12 iPads they’d need, bringing the cost down from $629.99 to $429.99 each. Keppley said the total cost would be $5,159.88. The discount was only good until Aug. 31.

The township will pay for the iPads and the fire companies for the auxiliary equipment such as cases and stands upon which to mount the iPads if they are to be used to take photos of fire scenes and other incidents.

Keppley said overall the township can save $275 per month with the iPads as compared to the jet packs.
Also at the meeting the board discussed a bid for tree removal at 68 Ream Road Park. The bid of $9,750 was from Premier Tree Service. Supervisor chairman Alan Fry said there are several ash trees in bad shape, especially near the pool area.

“I’m afraid something will come down and hit somebody and then we have big trouble,” he said.
Supervisor Romao “RC” Carrasco asked if there had been other bidders. Fry answered no.
“I’d like to see at least one other bid,” Carrasco said.

Supervisor Doug Mackley said it was not necessary due to the low amount, but agreed that another bidder “is the right thing to do.”

The bid called for three men to work for three days removing dead or dying trees and clearing branches and debris.

In other business, Cocalico Christian Brotherhood was granted a 90-day time extension for their final land development plan on 5.84 acres on eastern side of East Church Street near the intersection of Landis Road. The group wants to construct a 5,500 square foot church/auditorium with 69 parking spaces plus a future 4,500 square foot expansion. They were granted an extension to Nov. 16.

Larry Alexander is a freelance columnist based in Ephrata. He is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He can be contacted at larry2851@yahoo.com.

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