North Apollo opts to keep Kiski Township police coverage
Kiski Township will continue to supply police services to North Apollo.
North Apollo council Monday night approved a new, three-year contract in which the borough would pay Kiski Township $49,800 annually for police coverage.
That’s a hike of $3,000 per year over the five-year contract that expired last year.
Had North Apollo Council not approved or failed to act on the contract offer Monday night, the borough would have been without police coverage starting Tuesday.
Also under terms of the new pact, either municipality can opt out of the contract no later than Sept. 30 of a given year so both municipalities can adjust their budgets for the subsequent year.
The previous contract expired March 31, 2018. The new contract is in effect until Dec. 31, 2021.
At Kiski’s last supervisors meeting Feb. 13, an ultimatum was issued for North Apollo to act on a new contract offer. North Apollo had looked at neighboring Apollo and Parks Township for police coverage.
“We were just shopping around. It’s no secret, it’s in our minutes,” North Apollo council Vice President Dana Beck said. “We decided to stick with Kiski Township.”
Kiski Township Supervisor Mike Bash, head of the police committee, attended Monday’s meeting and was happy with the outcome.
Said Bash: “I’m not here to point any fingers. We’ve been serving North Apollo since 2007. I’ll back our police department 100 percent. Our police also have good rapport with the kids of both communities.”
Bash also said all were part of “the same family” in reference to both municipalities being part of the Apollo-Ridge School District and added that the $3,000 increase “was non-negotiable” because of increased costs for police salaries, equipment and pension contributions.
It was the first increase in five years, as the previous contract froze annual payments at $46,800.
Beck said North Apollo officials had received periodic complaints from residents about police coverage and felt obligated to solve constituent concerns.
Kiski police Chief Jerrod Thompson, who also attended the council meeting, suggested improvements in communication between his department and North Apollo council, particularly in following up with complaints or requests for information.
The new contract breaks down to about $4,250 per month for North Apollo.
One reason Kiski Township proposed a three-year pact instead of five years was to allow a concurrent time frame with the existing police contract in the township.
Residents who spoke Monday night before the vote praised the work police are doing.
“You’d put the whole town in jeopardy over a three thousand dollar raise?” resident Mark Boyer asked.
“I’ve never been happier with police coverage,” Joe Peters said.
The vote was 3-0 and was received by brisk applause from those who packed North Apollo council chambers.
Council members Beck, Bill Campbell and Arlene McCoy voted yes. Council President Don Acker was absent due to a family illness and Councilman James Spatafore was unable to attend.
George Guido is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.