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Alliances are good steps — at the right pace

Debate is underway in Old Lycoming Township concerning regionalization of the township’s police department with Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department, as reported in Thursday’s Sun-Gazette.

Old Lycoming Township is no stranger to collaborative emergency services: A fire alliance between the township and Williamsport has continued to save money and ensure protection for both communities. The alliance is working on securing funding from the state, according to another article in Thursday’s newspaper.

And regionalization of services is not limited to these communities either: Loyalsock Township and South Williamsport are fine-tuning an agreement to cooperate on fire protection as well.

We’ve long editorialized that Lycoming County can benefit from more regionalized approaches. We hope these endeavors are successful, and quell those naysayers rooted in provincialism and territorial mindsets.

Having said that, we recognize that the majority of skeptics are not territorial or provincial in their thinking — they have valid concerns about the safety of their communities, neighborhoods and homes.

We encourage the municipalities to take a deliberate and deliberative pace in pursuing these alliances. We encourage municipal leaders to be transparent, to hear out the honest skeptics and to work diligently to assauge their concerns.

Regionalization, consolidation and alliances can all be vital tools to provide the services our communities require at costs with which our taxpayers can live.

We need thoughtful, prudent leadership to make these tools work and to make them more viable and practical in almost everyone’s eyes in the future.

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