Township won't seek police grant

April 11, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Antrim Township said Friday it will not seek federal stimulus money to fund future police services.

The township briefly considered applying for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Recovery Program grant after Greencastle Borough Police Chief John Phillippy suggested the grant might pay for the township to contract police services from the borough.

Supervisor Fred Young III said Phillippy could provide little information about the grant at the March 31 meeting.

Only three supervisors -- Young, Rick Baer and Sam Miller -- attended the special meeting.

With less than a full board and not enough information to move forward by the grant deadline of April 14, Young said he was wary of applying for a grant that required a long-term commitment.

"I have since read the grant and I understand that it covers 100 percent of personnel costs for the first three years, but that the township would have to pay 100 percent the fourth year and every year after that," he said. "We are talking about a huge and potentially very expensive investment. I could not see making that decision without much more planning and thought by the full board."


Administrator Brad Graham said despite the allure of money to fund police services, his research indicated Antrim Township was not eligible to apply for the grant.

Graham said the township failed to meet the grant's eligibility criteria because it does not have an existing police department and it intended to use the money to pay for contracted services.

The official Web site for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services spelled out clearly that "start-up agencies are not eligible for CHRP funding." It also said "agencies that want to use grant funds to pay on contract for law enforcement services are not eligible."

Young said it probably was in the best interest of the taxpayers that Antrim Township was not eligible for the grant.

"If what Phillippy estimated ($700,000 for starting a police department) is accurate, we are talking about 5 mills of taxes to fund it," he said. "The question is do the residents want to pay for it?"

Young said the township is nowhere near the point of making a decision on police services.

Phillippy was unavailable to answer if his department would seek money through the grant.

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