Cheswick considers 3 police proposals
By Tom Yerace
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 1:41 a.m.
Cheswick Council began weighing neighboring communities' proposals for providing police service but isn't ready to make a decision.
On Tuesday night, council discussed the proposals submitted by Springdale, Springdale Township and Harmar.
Deciding which, if any, they will choose won't happen before they tour each police department and meet with the officials in those communities.
Cheswick's police department is down to only one full-time officer, Chief Bob Scott, and several part-time officers.
Council has been pondering if it is financially feasible to continue the borough's police department or whether to shut it down.
It sought requests for proposals on police service to see if that option makes more financial sense. The 2012 borough budget allocated about $361,000 for police.
Having 24/7 police coverage with an officer stationed in the borough is key in council's consideration of the proposals as well as costs.
Harmar submitted two proposals. The one that comes closest to providing what Cheswick wants would cost $292,000 in the first year of the five-year contract. By the fifth year the cost would rise to $299,000.
The other plan, which Harmar officials characterized as more affordable, would not station an officer in Cheswick. But Harmar officials said including the borough in one of its patrol zones would still maintain the average three-minute response time.
That plan would cost $168,000 in the first year and $173,400 in the fifth year.
Councilman Frank Meledandri didn't think that secondary plan would meet the borough's needs while the cost of the other plan doesn't seem to save enough money, especially the ongoing police pension costs Cheswick has to bear are added.
“What scares me is Harmar really went into the details,” Meledandri said, “and what they came up with is close to what we're spending now.”
Springdale Township provided the lowest cost. Its proposal is $150,000 the first year and would rise by $1,000 per year to $154,000 in the fifth year.
The proposal from Springdale Borough would start at $218,000 in the first year then jump to $234,000 the second year, $240,000 the third year, $247,000 the fourth year and in the fifth year the cost would jump by $11,000 to $258,000.
Council seemed to favor Springdale Borough's proposal the most.
While noting that Springdale Township came in with the lowest cost, Councilman Jonathan Skedel said, “They didn't give us what we were asking for. This is more of an on-call situation.”
The Springdale Borough proposal said an officer and vehicle would remain in Cheswick unless called on to assist other departments.
In addition, it said a three-member committee would be formed with two council members from Springdale and one from Cheswick, to oversee police services.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lower Burrell passes budget
- Woman accused of assault over rap music to attend anger management classes
- 5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley
- Home badly damaged in Clinton Township fire
- Apollo Elks reopens after reaching agreement with national organization
- Spending increase benefits Frazer police
- Tri-City Life Center creates gift wonderland for struggling families
- Motorists caught in Highland Park Bridge bottleneck
- Highlands students eager to stuff a bus with Toys for Tots
- A-K Valley motorists encounter fewer traffic headaches as cold weather arrives, projects completed
- Arnold, New Kensington residents whose water service is shut off may have additional charges