(From left to right)
Back: Solicitor James F. Kratz, Manager Bradford T. Flynn, Junior Councilwoman Lilah J. Goldfarb, Councilman James Lisiecki, Councilwoman Samantha L. Angst, Councilman Douglas Hamadyk, Councilwoman Lauren Bullsnake, Secretary Tanya Lamparter and Engineer Ronald B. Madison
Front: Mayor Fiorella R. Mirabito, President Frank Hesch III, Vice President Michele Ehrgott and Council President Pro Tempore Emanuel Mirabito

The Bath Borough Council met Monday, February 12 to discuss the 2023 police services study, announcements and various policies and ordinances.

First, Police Peer Consultant, Police Chief David A. Mettin of the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, provided a presentation on the recommendation for police services within the borough based on a study conducted in 2023.

Mettin reported: “The Pennsylvania State Police responded to or investigated an average of 762 incidents yearly while the Colonial Regional Police Department responded to or investigated 1,403. Average yearly arrests totaled 75 for the Pennsylvania State Police while Colonial Regional Police Department’s average yearly arrests totaled 89. Lastly, average yearly traffic enforcement activities totaled 106 for the Pennsylvania State Police while the Colonial Regional Police Department averaged 517 yearly.”

Additionally, Mettin reported that the survey conducted on residents’ opinions on past and current police presence and services found that the majority of residents that took the survey feel that PSP presence is not adequate in the borough, that PSP is not visible in the community and that they were displeased with PSP response time, but were pleased with services received.

Moving forward, Mettin provided insight into three options, which were to remain with PSP, create a stand-alone municipal police department or contract service/regionalize with another municipality/police department.

Mettin expressed that remaining with PSP would be the least costly of all other options since day-to-day police protection and service is being met and because PSP would also provide resources above that which can be provided by any single municipal police agency.

In comparison, creating a stand-alone municipal police department would provide the most borough control, but since the borough has a small population base and a finite tax base that would not support a stand-alone police department, it would be difficult for the borough to support a full-time police agency with limited financial resources and without placing an additional financial burden on its taxpayers.

Moreover, contracting police services or regionalizing with another municipality/police department would provide possible increased coverage, but would come at an increased cost than current services and will depend on the amount of coverage requested.

Therefore, the recommendation of Mettin and the DCED Governor’s Center for Local Government Service for borough police services is to remain with PSP and to consider having officials meet with representatives of Troop M to discuss the possibility of increasing patrols and traffic enforcement in the borough to provide a more visible, increased police presence.

Mayor Fiorella Mirabito voiced that PSP will try to attend the March meeting to go over current numbers and trends.

In other news, Mirabito announced that there will be a special considerations form on the borough website for residents to disclose if they or anyone in their home would need special assistance to evacuate in the event of an emergency, which will help create a plan to prevent incidents and fatalities. The information will be private and not shared with anyone other than emergency services.

Mirabito also announced that address/house numbers must be visible on all properties pertaining to the borough’s ordinance that address numbers must be placed in a position that is legible and visible from the street or road in front of the property, contrast with their background, be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters and not less than 4 inches in height with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inches.

Borough Manager Bradford T. Flynn announced that residents can now pay their sanitation bills on the borough website with the option of paying in increments with a credit card or e-check and option to sign up for email reminders. Online payments will incur a service fee and penalties begin May 31 for past due accounts.

Other announcements included the formation of a committee that will be responsible for planning the borough’s celebration of America’s Semiquincentennial birthday in 2026. Residents can reach out to the borough office or Council President Frank Hesch if they are interested in becoming a member of the committee.

Next, council approved an overtime compensatory time policy amendment, a starting salary system policy amendment, the advertisement for lawn care services, an ordinance creating a handicapped zone on Washington Street and a motion that ratified the decision to submit a late year 2023 Grow NorCO grant in the amount of $25,000, which was received earlier this year.

Last, council passed a motion authorizing Flynn and Borough Solicitor James F. Kratz to sign the Declaration of Taking documents from PennDOT involving borough lands around the upcoming Route 248 realignment project. Additionally, there will be a public PennDOT presentation to go over the final plans for the project at the March meeting.

The next Bath Borough Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. in the borough’s office building, located at 121 S. Walnut St.


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