Bellwood Council tables request to hire two officers

Bellwood Borough Council met last evening at the Bellwood Municipal Building to discuss matters within the borough. Prior to the 6:30 p.m. meeting, council held an executive session regarding Personnel.
Committee reports were headlined by a request from the police department to hire two part-time police officers for the borough, stemming from recent resignations from part-time officer’s Vicki J. Eaken and Jim Myers.
The council tabled the request and will hold a separate meeting to take official action Tuesday, August 13, 2002 at 6 p.m.
Councilman Fred Sweigert elaborated on the issue, “We have a subcontract with Bellwood School District by which we supply police coverage like evening patrols around the building, doors, basically keeping an eye on things.”
Sweigert continued, “Last year we put a daylight police officer, not in the school, but the school district is paying half of that officer’s wages. We have an officer on full time during the day in case something would happen.”
Along with that, the police department puts out a contract with the school district for activities such as football and basketball games, and activities like the senior play. The borough subcontracts security using their people.
The agreement with the school district is two different things because police officers patrol during the day for the school district and work activities which is separate. The part-time officers are used to work the activities.
Sweigert added, “The school district already knows what we’re going through. We’re in the middle of police negotiations and with the two resignations we have to make a decision to stay in the security business for those activities or whether to pass that on to the school district.”
The signed agreement between the school district and borough is a one year contract and is renewed every year. Sweigert noted, “We have never had a problem with the contract, but we didn’t have the union involved before.”
If the borough decides to hire two part-time police officers, they will be replacing two officers the borough previously hired to cover their contract.
Sweigert stated, “We tabled the issue to decide later whether we want to keep up with the contract and have our police department providing security.” He added, “We don’t want to get in over our heads.”
Other business handled by Bellwood Borough Council involved the Water & Sewer Department. With the dry weather, the borough had the Altoona Water Authority check the reservoir. The reservoir is running at 96.2 percent and 249 days of water, which shows no problems whatsoever. There are no water restrictions at this time.
Council discussed a renewal of the Federal Surplus Property Program, but due to lack of use the renewal was denied. The annual PennDot Salt Contract for winter maintenance was renewed by borough council.
Bellwood Borough Council dropped the 2003 Gypsy Moth Spray Program due to studies showing a steady decline in the gypsy moth population of recent years.
The September Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2002 at 6:30 p.m.