SAXTON — The Liberty Township supervisors approved a three-year intermunicipal police services agreement with neighboring Saxton Borough during their reorganization meeting earlier this week.
The new agreement, which was the topic of considerable debate during the past few months between the supervisors and borough officials, became effective Jan. 1, and covers a 36-month period, said Chairman Brian Weaver. The approval was unanimous with supervisors John Black and Dick McClure also voting yes.
“The agreement was beneficial to both municipalities,” Weaver noted. “After much discussion, both parties reached common ground in the negotiations.” Also, the police coverage in the township will include Stonerstown and East Saxton as well as periodic patrols of the rest of the municipality.
During the negotiation period, the sticking point centered around the cost of police services, for which the township was asked to make a monthly payment. The new agreement calls for the township to pay $2,500 a month the first year, $3,000 a month in 2020 and $3,500 a month starting in 2021.
In addition, the township will be responsible for a one-time contribution of $2,500 for police equipment outlined in a USDA grant funding arrangement.
As part of the agreement, the township will also share the cost of police training, Weaver said. Also, the township will have a bigger say at quarterly police committee meetings between the two municipalities.
Also, the borough will continue to provide police vehicles and be responsible for fuel costs and other police related expenses, the chairman noted.
“What we’re doing is just contracting with Saxton Borough for police coverage for the township.”
Saxton Borough Council ratified the three-year police services agreement last month.
Turning to reorganization business, the supervisors agreed to retain Weaver for his 21st term as chairman, while Black will begin his 18th year as vice chairman. All three supervisors will share positions as roadmasters during 2019.
Other reorganizational business included the retention of:
—Anna Black, township secretary.
—Bedford attorney Brad Allison, township solicitor.
—Bedford County Sanitary Corp., township sewage enforcement officer.
—Keystone Collections of Bedford, township wage tax collector.
—First National Bank, Saxton office, township depository.
—EADS Group, Altoona, as township consulting engineers.
The supervisors will continue to hold monthly meetings at 7 p.m., the first Monday of the month in the municipal building in Stonerstown except for Labor Day, 2019. That meeting will take place a week later at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9.