New cop in Old Lycoming Township breaks barrier

IOANNIS PASHAKIS/Sun-Gazette Shyanne McKivison was hired as a part-time police officer with the Old Lycoming Township Police Department last month. McKivison is the first female officer in the department's history

Not only did Old Lycoming Township pass a no-tax-hike budget in December, the township also brought on board its first female police officer.

Shyanne McKivison, a local resident and criminal justice major at Mansfield University, was hired as a part-time officer with the department and will be the first female officer in its history.

“We are excited,” Robert Whitford, township manager, said. “We believe she will do a great job. She has the integrity and she was number one on the hiring list.”

McKivison graduated from Mansfield University’s police academy in October. She also will undergo a 12-week training program accompanied by a field training officer from the department, according to Whitford.

Besides swearing in the new officer, the supervisors adopted a $5.18 million budget for 2018 that holds the line on taxes.

According to Whitford, the township wouldn’t increase taxes partly because the Old Lycoming Area Authority, a board of five residents appointed by the township that own the township’s sewer system, raised the monthly public sewage rate.

“Unfortunately, Old Lycoming Area Authority is having a $5-a-month increase,” Whitford said. “We did our best to make sure we weren’t hitting taxpayers on both sides.”

Supervisors pushed to avoid having to cancel any projects when they drafted the budget.

“We still have a lot of things planned,” Whitford said. “We didn’t cut any major work. We make sure everything is on the horizon but we don’t necessarily do it now.”

Projects planned in this year’s budget include tar and chipping and fixing drainage pipes on numerous roads, renovating Wyndmere Drive and finishing work on Dunkleberger Road.

According to the township, Wyndmere Drive in particular has been a focus for repair work.

“It wasn’t really built to specifications,” Sam Aungst, Old Lycoming Township supervisor, said. “It’s caving in at certain spots and just in bad shape.”

Along with road work, Aungst added that the budget made room for the township to buy a new police car, to repair and renovate the municipal building’s meeting room and if there is money left over, the township may begin work on additions to the police and sewage departments.

“Last year we were looking at expanding the police and sewage department properties but it was much more then we expected,” Aungst said. “If we are going to go ahead with that it’s going to be some work this year and more of it the next year.”