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Police to face budget cuts

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

Weissport Council heard tough comments Monday night as members discussed the 2010 budget.

Dana Brubaker, Weissport secretary, who has put together a budget for next year, said the borough has probably $142,450 in revenue and that most of the costs are fixed. She said that only the public works and police department are the variables.

Brubaker said that she will try to be as tactful as possible, as she prepared council for her assessment, but was told by council member Tommy McEvilly to not hold back.

Brubaker then said that Weissport can only afford one police officer to work 20 hours per week total.

"That is all you can afford," she said. "No matter how you parcel it out, you can only afford 20 hours a week at $12.50 an hour."

Brubaker said that in addition to the $14,000 Weissport has available for a police salary, there are other costs of $11,000, including $2,000 for insurance and another $2,100 is for workers' compensation insurance.

In 2008 Weissport budgeted $37,012 for police protection, and in 2009, $42,762 was earmarked for police. No figures on how much was actually spent were available.

She also said that Weissport cannot continue to offer coverage to Parryville at no cost.

"The costs for Parryville need to be substantiated," said Brubaker. "You have no data. You have no idea as to what it is costing you."

Shannon McAward, council president, said she has asked Mayor Tina Hagenbuch for figures relating to serving Parryville several weeks ago, but has not received any figures to date.

"Weissport deserves the man hours more than another borough," noted Tommy McEvilly. "We want to see the actual numbers."

McEvilly said that it was a difficult period for police to patrol Parryville because of the bridge being out.

"If they are in town, they are observing and if they are on the highway, they are collecting tickets," he said "It's a waste of time. They are not protecting anyone."

Brubaker said that she lowered the anticipated costs for police car maintenance because the car will be new and should not need as much maintenance as last year.

Brubaker also noted that she has added an increase to street lighting of 20 percent.

The other issue discussed was public works.

She noted that she has decreased the fuel budget for the public works to reflect actual cost.

"I decreased the public works to $15,000," said Brubaker. "You should be able to have workers work 30 hours a week, averaged out for the year."

Brubaker said that most hours are used in the summer for grass and maintenance, but some hours have to be there for emergencies such as snow removal.

Council will hold another budget meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12.

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