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Lower Towamensing officials oppose bill that would require them to pay for state police coverage

Published November 11. 2009 05:00PM

Lower Towamensing Township officials have given a thumbs down to proposed legislation that would require townships to pay for state police coverage.

Supervisor Glen Hahn announced at the township board of supervisors' meeting on Tuesday that the proposed House Bill 1500 would result in about a $480,000 cost to the township, or $156 per person.

Further, Hahn, who served as acting chairman of the board in the absence of Chairman Ron Walbert, said the township would lose about $100,000 in liquid fuels money if it wouldn't join in.

"They want us to get our own police force," Hahn said. "But, we can't afford our own police force."

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic said the notion that townships would be able to afford to pay for their own police force is outlandish.

"They would go broke," Nanovic said. "I would call PSATS (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors) and suggest to your representative that you're very much opposed to this."

The proposed legislation was introduced in Harrisburg this past summer to once again attempt to impose a state police service fee on municipalities that don't have full-time police departments.

If passed, the legislation would mandate the townships to either pay for state police patrols, or start their own or a regional police force, unless they would contract services from a neighboring department.

Also on Tuesday, supervisors on a 2-0 vote agreed to obtain several price quotes to eventually have inspections performed on the bridges within the township.

"I think we should get one or two other quotes," Hahn said. "We have three bridges, and we need to get quotes to inspect our bridges."

In other business, supervisors:

• Agreed to make an Emergency Management Services donation in the amount of $4,532 to the Lower Towamensing Township Fire Department.

• Agreed to ask the township engineer to prepare a proposal to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to make repairs to Drift Road.

• Agreed to keep the same Thanksgiving Holiday schedule for township employees on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27.

• Announced a budget meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Nov. 24 at the township municipal building.

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