Boro, Twp. mull joint police coverage

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

Wyoming County Press Examiner

Tunkhannock Borough Council unanimously approved Thursday night a letter of intent to consider consolidating the borough’s police force with Tunkhannock Township’s police force.

Councilman Marshall Davis, who serves as, borough police commissioner said the letter asks the state Department of Community and Economic Development for technical expertise to complete a feasibility study that also could establish a timetable for merger.

Tunkhannock Township supervisors approved a similar motion at their meeting Tuesday night.

Davis said that six years ago, DCED fostered discussion with all of the law enforcement agencies across Wyoming County to create a regional force, but it was not created.

Davis said that both Borough Chief William Olszewski and Township Chief Stanley Ely were consulted and the current joint concept “makes sense to everyone.”

The borough police force presently also covers Washington Township, and the township police force also covers Falls Township, but Davis said it was premature to speculate that all four would be part of the new jointure.

“That’s why we’re having the feasibility study done,” Davis said, “so an outside agency can give the professional technical assistance needed.”

He added that there are “lots of pluses and lots of questions which hopefully the study will clarify.”

In other business, borough council also passed a resolution to extend the “borrowing life” of the Tunkhannock Borough Municipal Authority which is set to expire in 2031 to 2062.

Davis said that the Municipal Authority is looking at the possibility of adding around 110 new customers who presently reside in Tunkhannock Township to its sewer and water service, and needs the resolution to begin the process of applying for consideration to be on a list for a loan.

He emphasized, however, “We have not made application for a loan.”

During the meeting, the disposition of a floodplain permit which had been requested last year by the Zaremba Group on behalf of CVS Drugs which is looking to purchase Gay’s True Value in downtown Tunkhannock was briefly discussed.

Borough floodplain administrator Jim Maillet noted in a letter of Aug. 22 that the permit was revoked that day after it was discovered an engineer on the project was not properly licensed last year in Pennsylvania at the time he signed an elevation certificate.

A new permit application would be subject to a 2012 floodplain ordinance adotpted this summer, and it was not altogether clear what kind of “new” timetable CVS might be considering in terms of purchasing the Gay’s property.

Zaremba had been in a process targeted to have a new CVS store in place by March 31, when CVS’ present lease in Towne Plaza on West Tioga Street in Tunkhannock, was set to expire.

Also at the meeting, zoning hearing board member Wayne Foresman was recognized for 24 years of service to the borough, but had stepped down recently.