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Suggestion made to eliminate crossing guards in Slatington

Published December 17. 2010 05:00PM

At Slatington's regular meeting of council held this week, council discussed their budget for 2011. To avoid police department layoffs Councilman Paul Hoffman and Police Chief David Rachman talked about getting rid of the town's crossing guards, which would save the borough $11,000.

"There's never been any frivolous spending in this borough. The only thing left to cut are hours." Rachman said. "It's not just Slatington. It's everywhere this is happening."

"To cut the police force, the limited police force we have, is outrageous," Becky Bowman, of Slatington, said.

Council discussed cutting $15,000 from the budget by reducing the use of part-time officers.

"If the position of crossing guard is eliminated, how will we make sure the students are safe crossing the street," Lori Vernon, who works as a crossing guard for the borough, asked.

"Believe me, this isn't about the safety of our children," Councilman Paul Hoffman said.

Councilman Russ Hallman suggested trying to get volunteer crossing guards. Rachman said that the police department will try to monitor the two intersections that crossing guards are currently positioned at.

At last month's council meeting Gary Phillips, who is chairman of the borough's water authority, recommended that borough residents pay $28 per quarter in order to start paying off the PennVEST sewer project. Cutting some money from repairs, Councilman Dan Stevens recalculated the numbers and found that Council could keep sewer taxes at their current state.

"I was just looking for a way to not throw this huge increase at the tax payers," Stevens said. "We're able to not do any increase in any of the user fees."

Council said that they're thinking about raising taxes by one and a half mils. They voted to hold a special meeting Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall to pass next year's budget.

In other business, Mayor Walter Niedermeyer announced that Slatington Crime Watch will be holding a Christmas party in Borough Hall Dec. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m.; Council voted to advertise the Trout Creek Crossing Project, which will be paid for with Community Development Block Grant money from Lehigh County, for bids and Les Glanz, of Northern Lehigh Future Focus (NLFF), said that NLFF and Lehigh Gap Nature Center have created a brochure that contains maps of the trail system in the Northern Lehigh area.

"This is part of a continuing effort to highlight Slatington slash the Northern Lehigh area as a trail town," Glanz said.

The brochures are available in Slatington and Walnutport borough halls.

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