Township Meeting Room
WEST COCALICO TOWNSHIP
The Chairman, Jacque Smith called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 9:00 a.m.
The following were in attendance:
Supervisors: Jacque Smith, Terry Scheetz and James Stoner.
Others Present: Carolyn Friesema, Manager; Shelbie Shupp, Administrative Assistant; Thomas Showalter, Roadmaster; Jason Lesher, The Grapevine; Val Lacis, Reading Eagle; Terry Bergman, Luke Showalter, ECT Police David Fisher, ECT Police Darrick Keppley, ECT Police Gail Sizer, April Westhafer, ECT Police Steve Walsh, Chrissy Walsh, Chase Firestone, Boyscout Troop 95, Brett Kupp, Mitch North, Jake Dieszel, Matthew Redcay, Justin Marderness, and Betty Redcay; Christopher Dunn, ECT Police Chief George Beever, Richard Pannebecker, Retired ECT Police Ray Burns & resident, Dawn Burns, Retired Twp. Mgr, Norma Enck & resdient; Scott Moyer, Larry Beverage, Steve Laudenslager; Walter Lesher, Arlene Crouse, ECT Police Josh Sola & resident, Michelle Brown, David Shupp, Ellen Depuy Mike Gensemer, ECT Police Chris Brogen, Sue Knauer, ECT Police Jon Zaun and ECT Police Roger
Kreiser & resident; Chief Steffen, NLCRPD .
James Stoner motioned to approve the Board of Supervisors minutes from June 17, 2013, as presented. Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
James Stoner motioned to approve the attached list of checks totaling $200,806.09. Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Jacque Smith opened the meeting to public discussion regarding the police contract with East Cocalico Township. He clarified that West Cocalico Township started looking for alternative police service only after they received a non-negotiable police contract that the township solicitor said the Board of Supervisors could not sign. The Boroughs of Denver and Adamstown were instructed by their solicitors, as well, that they could not sign the contracts from East Cocalico Township. He also stated that at no time was the Board of Supervisors unhappy with the services provided by the East Cocalico Township Police. Jacque said there would be no decision today regarding the police contract because they wanted to give the public a chance to share their concerns. He said the Board of Supervisors received a letter Thursday afternoon, July 11, 2013, stating East Cocalico Township was now willing to talk about the contract. The timing of the letter, as well as services and finances, throw a lot into the equation.
Norma Enck, Creek Rd. Denver; said her concerns with Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Dept. are: their clearance rates, response times, no officer in the area at all times and where the nearest officer would be, the $6,000 to buy into NLCRPD, what other police services were evaluated, including State Police; why 5 officers left NLCRPD within an 18 month to 2 yr. time period. She feels WCT could not get a better police force than East Cocalico Township.
Ray Burns, Rose Drive, Reinholds; thanked the Board of Supervisors for taking time to evaluate their options, as well as citizens concerns. He questioned Board Supervisor, James Stoner, as to what meeting he and Carolyn attended prior to the NLCRPD meeting last evening, July 11, 2013, and questioned the transparency of the Board. His other concerns included: the accuracy of what Chief Steffen said at the 1st meeting regarding NLCRPD embracing new technology and having already installed radios for the county radio project, when in fact, the purchase order was not even cut and radios were not ordered. He also questioned their financial report through June which shows 68% of the expenditures were made and only 48% of revenue was received. He also questioned the $100,000 under budget, there was a 31% reduction in work force by the end of the year which would have produced a savings, and otherwise they would have been over budget. He questioned what a proposed agreement would cost and what it would cost to remove the municipality from the existing contract, as well as, cost to leave a NLCRPD contract.
James Stoner responded to Ray Burns question about the meeting on July 11, 2013. He said Carolyn and he had the opportunity to meet with a representative of DCED regarding police services, this part of DCED works with municipalities regarding police services.
Chief Steffen responded to Ray Burns questions about the radios by saying if he had actually said at the 1st meeting that they were already installed, he had misspoken. The cars are already prepared so that they can just place the radios into them. Regarding the$100,000 under budget; Chief Steffen said that even though there was a reduction in the work force they might have still been paying costs for those no longer working on the force.
Steve Laudenslager, Garvin Rd., Denver: he questioned transparency of the Township, because he requested a copy of the contract proposed by NLCRPD and all he got was a proposal letter and charter agreement. He stated the Board in their decision, was acting like a runaway train going down a hill.
Carolyn responded to Steve’s question regarding a contract. She said he got what we have. There is no formal contract with NLCRPD because we currently are only inquiring as to whether they would service West Cocalico Township and what they
Terry Scheetz responded to Steve’s statement regarding the Board of Supervisors making a quick decision. He told Steve he resented his comment and that he was totally wrong. He said that they were investigating all their options, and it is because of East Cocalico Township’s non-negotiable contract that they are forced to have a timetable to reach a decision.
April Westhafer, W. Route 897: Her concerns were that there would not be 24/7 coverage, the clearance rate for part 2 offenses and asked the Supervisors not to make a decision based on financial savings.
Jacque Smith responded to April Westhafer’s comment regarding 24/7 coverage. He said the Board never even considered having less than 24/7 coverage.
Walter Lesher, Sandy Hill Rd., Denver: stated that East Cocalico Twp. Police Department is a good police force. They have helped the Lions Club with a fundraiser for the blind. He said he called NLCRPD to see if they would give the same support, they said he would have to do it himself.Arlene Crouse, Galen Hall Rd.,
Reinholds: she is against changing police and is willing to have her taxes
raised to keep ECTP. She asked the Board not to rush to a decision.
Roger Kreisher, Village Spring Lane, Reinholds: He said that 30 percent of taxes are going to police services. He is willing to pay more taxes to keep the same police force.
Josh Sola, Krueger Drive, Reinholds: The ECT police have saved lives due to a quick response time.
Michelle Brown, Hollow Rd., Reinholds: she is with the Reinholds Ambulance Association and feels safer when making calls because the police have stopped in at every call.
Dave Shupp, Tannery Rd., Reinholds: Wanted to know how many officers would be added to NLCRPD if the other municipalities were added and if a detective would be added. He feels since NLCRPD is a new product and going through growing pains,
and WCT does not have specific #’s and guarantees; WCT should stay with ECT police.
Chief Steffen said he has a pool of officers he rotates into detective work as a career development tool.
Mike Gensemer, Denver resident: asked Chief Steffen why the clearance rate for Part 2 offenses was only at 20% and why it took until this meeting to realize how low the number was.
Chief Steffen responded to Mike Gensemer’s request by stating that Part 2 offenses are irrelevant in decision making but not disregarded. Part 2 offenses are considered by the FBI as minor crimes. He has to decide where to put efforts. Part 1 offenses are where you receive grants and where deployment is done. They are very relevant. He will be checking into disparity of numbers for clearance rate of Part 2 offenses.
Chris Brogan, ECT police: questioned why the Part 2 offenses clearance rate is not significantly lower than the Part 1 offenses which are 1200.
Chief Steffen said the clearance rate only matters in this room.
Jacque Smith said that West Cocalico Township received a police contract from East Cocalico Township which the Board of Supervisors were advised by their solicitor not to sign. They were forced into a decision and their options were to use State Police or contract with NLCRPD. West Cocalico Twp., Adamstown Borough, and Denver Borough Managers met with Mark Heister, East Cocalico Township Manager; to see if the contract was negotiable. He said the contract is firm. There was never an opportunity to discuss the contract. West Cocalico initiated contact with NLCRPD to see if they would be willing to serve West Cocalico Township. NLCRPD was asked to quickly gather information for a proposal of their services. There is no contract with them at this time, if WCT decides to go with them the details would need to be worked out and the contract would be reviewed by our solicitor.
Norma Enck said she worked with the Board of Supervisors a long time and has never seen them act hastily. They make up their own minds and do not necessarily go with the Manager’s opinion. They weigh things heavily. She feels East Cocalico Townships Police services
Sue Knauer: W. Route 897, said Chief Steffen is a numbers guy. Service is important to Josh Sola, Roger Kresier and Ray Burns. Part 2 offenses are important, they affect residents. She is willing to pay more for police services.
April Westhafer said Part 2 offenses are important. Chief Steffen said they are not significant.
Arlene Crouse wanted to know when a final decision would be reached.
Jon Zaun, Adamstown: asked if WCT stays with ECT, will Adamstown still be able to go with NLCRPD.
Chief Beever gave the Police report:
1.DUI Crash – A Denver resident faces DUI charges after he was involved in a one car crash in the 500 block of Blue Lake Road in West Cocalico Township at 11:00 pm on June 21.
2.Arson – Police are investigating two instances of arson that occurred in West Cocalico Township in the early morning hours of June 23. Piles of trash were set on fire at the intersection of Swamp Church Road and North Blainsport Road at 2:00 AM, and another pile of trash was set on fire in the 500 block of Swamp Church Road. Reinholds Fire Company responded to extinguish both fires.
3.Police arrested an individual on July 5th for an incident that occurred on June 26th, where police were called to 39 Mechanic Street for a cruelty to animals report. Police found a house cat inside the residence
bleeding, in pain and unable to move. The cat was euthanized because of severe injuries.
Tom Showalter gave the Roadmasters Report:
Base repairs and replacement of a storm water pipe were made on Wollups Hill Rd.
Base repairs were made on Indiantown Rd.
Burkholder Paving completed installation of the new wearing surface on Indiantown Road.
Shoulder mowing was completed for the second time.
Paving of Lower Hillside and Hillside Roads will begin on July 12th.
Paving of Wollups Hill Road will begin July 16th.
Martin Paving will begin Chip Sealing of roads on July 15th.
PennDot has completed inspection of the Sportsman Road Bridge. We received a call from Mack Engineering that high priority repairs needed to be made to the posts that support the guiderail. They also said that two of the bridge deck support beams need to be replaced. PennDot is still reviewing the inspection report and will tell us if we need to reduce the weight rating and/or narrow the driving lane until
repairs can be made. Repairs to the guide rail support post have already been made. Met with Carolyn and Jim Caldwell to discuss a permit and what options there might be.
Met with UGI and Dynateck to discuss gas line and backup
Carolyn Friesema gave the Manager’s report as follows:
Investigated the following complaints/concerns:
a. Water complaint on N Blainsport Road
b. Long grass complaints on Rose Drive, Galen Hall Road, Meadow Road, W Main St.
2.Attended the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, July 8, 2013.
3.Attended the Park Board meeting on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
4. Met with George Beever to discuss police issues
5. Met with David Steffen , NLCRPD chief to discuss police issues.
6. Attended the pre-commissioners meeting of the NLRCPD on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.
7. Met with Jim Caldwell/Lauren Zumbrun from Rettew and Tom Showalter to discuss the recent Sportsman Road Bridge report.
8. Met with Jacque Smith and Dave Shupp to discuss police issues on July 9, 2013.
9. Attended the NLCRPD commissioners meeting on Thursday, July 11, 2013.
Carolyn and Bob Bachman attended a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers and DEP regarding the Harnish Run Stream Channel relocation project. Carolyn and Bob were told that the stream bank is well established and there was no need to do the project. Since there would not be any funds available for the project there will be no action taken on the project.
James Stoner motioned to approve the escrow release for Middle Creek builders- Pineview Road. Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. Motion carried
Terry Scheetz motioned to approve the escrow release for Brian and Manda Murphy- Sportsman Road. James Stoner seconded the motion. Motion carried.
James Stoner motioned to approve paving the parking lot at Main St Park. Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Terry Scheetz motioned to approve the winter maintenance agreement with Denver Borough for sections of Hawthorne Drive and Tamarack Drive in the amount of $404.56. James Stoner seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Terry Scheetz motioned to approve the PennDot Municipal Winter Traffic Services Agreement for sections of Galen Hall Rd. and Texter Mtn. Rd. in the amount of $5,510.41. James Stoner seconded the motion. Motion carried.
James Stoner motioned to accept the quote from Burkholder Paving in the amount of $14,718.00 for shoulder work on Indiantown Road. Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Jacque Smith motioned to approve the Jill Sensenig preliminary/Final Subdivision Plan WCT: 13:05dated June 17, 2013; with the following conditions:
1.Items 1 thru 7 under Zoning be completed.
2.Items 1 thru 24 under Subdivision and Land Development be completed.
3.Items 1 thru 27 under Storm Water Management be completed.
Terry Scheetz seconded the motion. James Stoner abstained. Motion carried.
Terry Scheetz motioned to approve the contract totaling $5,685.00 from Concort Communications to build and host the West Cocalico Township website. James Stoner seconded the motion.
Jacque Smith said because they got a letter yesterday from East Cocalico Township saying they are willing to talk, they will have to meet with them. Terry Scheetz said that East Cocalico Twp. has put them in an extremely awkward situation. He said East Cocalico Twp. should be responsible for setting up a meeting to discuss the contract. The timing needs to happen shortly.
On a motion by Jacque Smith and seconded by Terry Scheetz, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.
James Stoner Secretary