After months of discussion, town halls, and informational sessions between the Borough of Bath Council, the Colonial Regional Police Commission, and borough residents, Bath’s council unanimously chose to withdraw from the CRPC.
The decision was made during council’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 12. Several members of the Colonial Regional Police were in attendance as each council member cast their vote to withdraw. This vote gives Borough Manager Brad Flynn the authority to draft official letters of withdrawal.
“This has been a very tough decision,” said Council President Mark Saginario as he thanked council for their work. “I know pretty much everyone on council lost sleep over this.”
However, Saginario once again stressed that the decision did not reflect the quality of the CRPC’s services. Ultimately, the decision came down to what was best for the borough’s future “five, seven, [and] ten years down the road.”
Colonial Regional, Saginario said, was “worth every penny,” but the borough does not have any more pennies to give and “taxes just cannot go up anymore.”
Although the decision to withdraw has been made, the contract the borough has with the CRPC will remain in place through 2018. The borough has until January 2019 to find a new police department.
“[This] gives council plenty of time to decide who the best fit will be,” Saginario said.
The borough currently has several options available, including contracting the services of the state police, Moore Township, or Colonial Regional.
Council also motioned to send a legal representative to all future CRPC meetings until further notice. This motion, council explained, is to make sure the borough is “protected” by someone who “knows the legal end” of the situation.
While perhaps the most difficult decision council had to make has passed, according to Saginario, it is time to “move on to the next phase.”
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Also during the meeting, Fire Chief Emilio DeNisi told council of plans for an upcoming open house at the fire department, an event for families that DeNisi estimates may draw between 400 to 500 people. He asked council for permission to shut down Center Street between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 14 for the event.
The event, which will be advertised in area schools, will have a smoke camper for kids, giveaways and handouts, music, a moon bounce, and more.
DeNisi said the event will be “very educational” and an opportunity to get the community involved, showing them “where tax money is actually going.”
All members of council thought this was an excellent idea.
“I think this council will be behind you 100 percent,” said Saginario.
“You guys do a fabulous job,” said Mayor Fiorella Mirabito, “I commend all of you.”
More information about the event will be released as it draws nearer.