Borough council begins discussing 2013 borough and police budgets
Shippensburg Borough Council began discussing the 2013 budget at a meeting Thursday.
Borough Manager Earl Parshall said much of the next meeting on Nov. 20 will be spent discussing the budget. He added that a vote to advertise the budget will need to happen Dec. 4 and a vote on approval should happen Dec. 18. The budget must be completed by the end of December.
The estimated amount of money to be in the budget was not immediately available.
According to Parshall, items not yet in the draft budget are an anticipated tax increase; 2013 insurance premiums, yet there is a placeholder for 10 percent; and the 2013 police cost of living increase, but there is also a placeholder in for that.
Shippensburg Police Chief Fred Scott attended to provide requests for the 2013 police budget. Of particular interest to him was the part-time employee budget, since there were problems in the last budget cycle. Scott also said he wants to ensure that enough officers are on each day, especially given recent crime events.
“We need two officers on at all times,” Scott said. “We can’t afford to have one man by himself on Saturday morning. Too many things are going on,” and there has not been enough time to get Pennsylvania State Police to respond.
Scott also asked that money be provided for the department to buy new radios. He added that there are several areas in the borough where police have to use their cell phones because the radios have no signal.
A measure that will save money is borough police going to Cumberland County to get blood tests done for people suspected of driving under the influence, Scott said.
Shippensburg police now take suspects to Chambersburg Hospital for testing, and the fee incurred is not returned to police until convicted offenders pay it through the court’s payment plan. Under Scott’s new plan, suspects will be taken to Cumberland County Jail for testing and police will not face a fee, Scott said.
Scott also asked that $1,400 be added to the police budget for security cameras. He said that is the cost for a model that police came into contact with and found to work well, although some quality lacks in the dark.
Councilman Steve Brenize said other options should be looked into because he knows of other high quality security cameras that are below that price point.
In other news, council approved changes to several properties throughout the borough.
Also, Shippensburg Fire Chief Randy O’Donnell spoke to commend the many volunteers that aided the area during Superstorm Sandy. He said the Emergency Operations Center was a valuable asset to the community throughout the storm.
There was also discussion about residents setting leaves out for pick up at the wrong times. Hockersmith said some people are unable to meet the requirement because of work schedules, and that no one should be scolded for it. Parshall said he only knows of one person who was admonished, and that that occurred because the man is retired and is able to set leaves out at the correct time.
“The leaves situation is a no win situation,” Parshall said.