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Council asked to consider more money for police

JERSEY SHORE — Jersey Shore Borough Council is being asked to approve an increase in the regional police force budget after hearing from its police commission chairman

“We have not had a real increase in police costs for some time, but I think this budget you’ll find that there is a need to raise more revenue,” said Councilman Sean Simcox, who chairs the police commission over seeing the Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police.

The regional police department needs about $26,000 more in 2020, although there is some speculation that the actual number may be larger, he said.

“Part of the way that we balanced the budget was to use quite a bit of funds we had in the bank,” he told fellow council members on Monday night. “To balance the annual budget with those funds is a shortcut to disaster when you do that a few years in a row.”

The police budget was $527,000 last year and is $553,000 this year, said Simcox

“I think we as a borough need to discuss that when it comes to our budget, so we can go down over that and we can start to wrap our heads around that a little bit,” he said.

The “small raise” can be easily afforded by the borough, Simcox said.

In other business, the borough received the following estimates to repair the leak in their community pool: Boyer Swimming Pools, $66,685; Mar-Allen Concrete Products Inc., $29,718; and All-State Technology, $130,000

“We’re certainly concerned about such a wide range of bids,” said Joseph Hamm, borough manager.

Boyer Swimming Pools handled the layout and design for the project, he said.

“They had everything detailed to them by an engineer. It’s not like they didn’t have all the information,” said Hamm.

Upon recommendation by Denise L. Dieter, borough solicitor, the council voted to accept the lowest bid contingent on an engineer’s review and approval based on the bid specifications and tabulations.

“You need to know that you’re looking at apples to apples,” she said.

The borough allowed for a fuel pump to be installed at 640 Railroad St. following a conditional use hearing.

“We’re going the extra mile and putting concrete pillars around it,” said Darin Hamm, of Fred Hamm Inc., a waste management service. “We have cameras. Most, if not all (crews), have two guys.”

Additionally the tank is double-walled to prevent leaks and the owners receive cell phone notifications when it’s in use. Additionally, the above-ground tank will sit on a 25 to 35-foot concrete pad.

Voting “yes” were Barb E. Schmouder, Sean M. Simcox, Dennis Thompson, Mike Zellers, Kenneth J. Scheesley, Paul E. Garrett. Matthew Hagg voted no. Janet Barnhart and Marguerite Dyroff were absent.

Under recommendation of the highway committee, the borough also purchased a $6,000 roller from Porter Township.

The next borough council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the borough offices, 232 Smith St.

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