Police chief says drug arrests being made, but problems persist

South Williamsport Borough Police Chief Robert Hetner said his department continues to deal with issues of heroin abuse, especially in the area along Route 15.

Hetner said officers all too regularly find people overdosed in vehicles in parking lots. It is not uncommon to find heroin in vehicles during traffic stops, he added.

“We continue to see our problems with heroin,” Hetner told council members on Monday. “The department continues to take an aggressive stance with other agencies. It seems like every time we arrest one, there’s three more.”

The chief, who previously stated that the drug issue is not limited to the borough, told council members about arrests that were made last month regarding alleged drug dealing in and around the area of the former Kaba Resort and Night Club and Days Inn, 234 Montgomery Pike.

Also at council’s meeting, members voted to increase the cost of a zoning hearing to $350 from $200. The increase is due to more costs associated with the need for a court reporter, legal and advertising fees.

“That figure seems to be the going figure that everybody’s using,” Borough Administrator Michael D. Miller said about other municipalities’ rates. “And we’re not making money on it. We’re losing money.”

Councilman Robert Cronin voted against the measure because he said the increased costs would serve to punish those who actually have a valid appeal.

Cronin was the only councilman to vote against it, with the change passing by a 7-to-1 margin.

Council also voted 7 to 1 to eliminate vacation benefits for part-time, non-union employees. Councilman Edward Weinhoffer said those workers had been eligible for one day off for every 300 hours worked.

Cronin was the lone councilman to vote against the change.

Weinhoffer also said that job evaluations will take place for non-union employees.

The borough’s community pool at the park complex will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 25 and 26 and June 1 and 2, and permanently open for the season on June 8.