Fallowfield Township supervisors to consider Monongahela police offer
By Rick Bruni Jr.
Published: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Monongahela Mayor Bob Kepics wants to expand his city's police coverage — and he made that known at Wednesday's Fallowfield Township Board of Supervisors meeting.
Kepics approached the board with a letter asking the township to consider coverage by the Monongahela Police Department, which currently serves Monongahela and New Eagle full time and Finleyville on a per-call basis.
However, after telling Kepics during the meeting that the board would consider his offer, Supervisor Earl Saddler said he was content with the township's current police coverage.
Saddler cited budgetary concerns before declining further comment.
State police have covered Fallowfield Township for the past two years at no cost.
Saddler said he was “very satisfied” with response time by state police, and noted that troopers often patrol township roads.
In May of 2010, Saddler and fellow Supervisor Olga Woodward voted to fold the township's small police force. The other current supervisor, Wilbur Caldwell, was not on the board at the time.
Since then, the township has turned down overtures from the Charleroi Regional Police to join its coverage, Caldwell confirmed.
Kepics said, after the meeting, expanding the Monongahela Police Department makes sense because the wider the coverage area, the more federal grant money can be obtained. Kepics mentioned possibly building a substation in Fallowfield Township if it wished to obtain police coverage.
The Monongahela force currently employs eight full-time officers and six part-time officers.
Resources would not be an issue, Kepics said, adding increased revenue would mean hiring more officers.
But if Caldwell's response is any indication, a potential merger will not happen anytime soon.
“I personally am satisfied with the coverage we have now … we've heard very few complaints, if any,” Caldwell said after the meeting.
“With what we had heard earlier in the year, there have been fewer (police) calls, but I don't know if it's because less people are calling in for trivial things. … It's fine that other municipalities want to expand their coverage, but we have no immediate plans to discuss it.”
In other business, the board granted a three-year garbage collection contract that will run from 2014 to 2016 to current hauler, Allied Waste. The township put out bids for the contract but received only the one.
Saddler said quarterly rates will cost slightly less for residential customers: $33.60 in 2014, $34.16 in 2015, and $35.10 in 2016. Senior citizens will be eligible for a 10 percent discount by sending proof of age to the company, Saddler added.
The board nixed a controversial motion to install a time clock at the township garage and maintaining the service at $92 per month. Saddler asked for a motion three times, and no one responded, so the motion officially “died.”
The idea stemmed from discussion during July's meeting over issues with time keeping by the township's three-man road crew.
Several residents questioned the board's proposed sale of an older tractor and boom mower — used to cut grass along roads — to Long Branch Borough for $3,500, on condition the equipment runs properly.
Saddler said he was approached by nine residents who expressed interest in buying the tractor for parts, but no offers exceeded $3,000.
Solicitor Tom Agrafiotis said the township did not have to bid out the sale because the transaction involves another municipality.
Saddler said the tractor runs, but needs work.
The board unanimously agreed to sell the equipment.
In an unusual turn of events, the board approved the purchase of an electronic sign for the township by a 2-1 vote before nixing the action.
Contingent upon the township obtaining $17,000 in grant money from the Washington County Local Share, the sign would be installed along State Route 481 by the township garage. Saddler and Caldwell approved the motion and Woodward opposed it.
However, the motion did not include a price — originally quoted as $30,000 at last month's meeting but stated as $35,000 by Caldwell on Wednesday — and the board voted to rescind the motion.
The proposal will be revisited at a special meeting Oct. 14, Saddler said, while Caldwell attempts to acquire the grant monies.
In other action, the board:
• Approved payment of $5,850 to participate in a Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan, along with Charleroi, Speers, Twilight and North Charleroi. The Washington County study will look for ways to promote growth and revitalize the area, Saddler said.
• Set the township's trick-or-treat date for Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• Announced the township is selling a used air compressor to Mark Smith for $375.
• Noted the township has send out 46 letters for delinquent garbage collection accounts.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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