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North Irwin budget to include police cost increase

| Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 5:06 p.m.

Although officials are still haggling over a price, police protection in North Irwin borough will likely fall to Irwin police.

Council members met for a special meeting Monday night to approve the budget for North Irwin, including its contract for police service. Officials had set out to shop for police protection over the summer, but settled on Irwin when no other offers surfaced.

Council members approved the budget with a restriction on the monthly police expense not to exceed $1,650 per month.

North Irwin Council hopes to negotiate a lower price.

Irwin police have asked for $1,650 per month to cover North Irwin, which is $150 more than last year when they charged $1,500 per month.

North Irwin Council members hope to negotiate an increase of $75 instead.

“I'm saying, we go back at them with a $75 increase and see what they say,” Mike Schade, council member said. “They might accept $75.”

A $75 increase would equal $1,575 per month, or $18,900 per year.

The contract term changed from two years to one year.

The department is supposed to drive through the borough for 30 minutes per shift and to answer calls when necessary.

“I'm happy. I always see them driving through here,” Schade said. “I just think they should be here at our council meetings.”

Each month, Irwin police send a call report to the borough office. Schade said he would appreciate if an officer attended the monthly council meetings to explain the calls.

Council members discussed shopping around for police protection in August when they voted to send letters to neighboring municipalities inquiring about service.

Letters were sent to police departments in Irwin, North Huntingdon, Manor, Penn Township, Trafford and Southwest Regional Police Department.

Irwin and Southwest Regional were the only departments that responded. Schade said the borough never pursued an agreement with Southwest Regional Police Department.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626 or adolasinski@tribweb.com.

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