Over, then out….Police board reaches out one last time to Adamstown, West Cocalico

By on July 8, 2015

Throughout the saga of a potential Cocalico area police force, the dominant issue has been cost.

Though West Cocalico and Adamstown officials have publicly said they’ve dropped out of talks to create a joint force, leaders of the remaining two participating municipalities, Denver borough and East Cocalico Township, still hope the door of cooperation remains open.

At the June 29 Denver borough meeting, Mike Gensemer, council vice president, reported that he, council President Blake Daub, and Borough Manage Mike Hession met last week with East Cocalico supervisors and agreed to send a letter to Adamstown and West Cocalico Township with cost projections. Those figures pertain to contract for one-year service from either the existing East Cocalico Police or the new, regional force (same police, new name), if it becomes operative by Jan. 1, 2016.

Adamstown officials, after leaving the regional force talks, requested a contracted services price. West Cocalico supervisors did not solicit a service quote from East Cocalico Police for 2016.

“Things work best when all four municipalities are working together,” said Gensemer. “The letters also left open the option to request a multi-year police cost quote. Adamstown and West Cocalico Township have until Sept. 1, 2015 to respond.”

Council discussed, and took no action on changing the hours to start and end the two-hour parking section of the Main Street business district.

The borough received complaints from a Main Street business owner concerning hours and enforcement of the current ordinance, which limits two-hour parking between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The complaint alleges that parking overnight and into the morning permits a car to stay in this area until 10 a.m. until it’s in violation. The business owner suggested an earlier start time, such as 6 a.m.

The ordinance, which is enforced by police placing chalk marks on tires, has been a handicap to several residents in the business district who do not have enough off-street parking for their vehicles, and must continually jockey cars or pay the fines for parking longer than the two hours permitted.

Daub asked council to ponder a feasible solution after hearing different suggestions from residents and business owners in attendance. He thanked the business owners for responding to the letter the borough sent inviting them to attend the meeting.

“This will come up again soon,” Daub said.

In other business, council:

* Recognized George Whetsel, public works director, for 40 years of service.

* Unanimously adopted the revised Denver Borough Personnel Policy Manual.

* Authorized the council president to execute the Five Year Winter Traffic Services Agreement between the borough and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

* Heard Denver Fire Chief Shannon Hilton’s report. Denver Fire Company responded to 102 calls in the first 181 days of 2015. Average response time was 3.8 minutes. The new radio system went live in May and experienced only a few minor problems. The fire company submitted a grant to FEMA to help toward the cost for replacing the company’s outdated, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

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