Members of Derry Borough Council announced on Monday that the borough’s K-9 program is expected to end at the end of the year.
Council president Chad Fabian read a letter submitted by police chief Randy Glick, announcing the end of the program.
“K-9 officer Blade is retiring Dec. 31, 2019, and the K-9 program will be coming to an end with his retirement,” Glick said in the letter.
Glick, who was not at the meeting, also stated in the letter that the offer to work a second dog in the borough was rescinded and the program will end at the end of the year. He added that an article in his contract will be removed, the K-9 vehicle will be refitted for patrol use and put back into rotation with other patrol vehicles.
“Basically, no more dog in the borough,” Fabian said.
Council member Grant Nicely was disappointed to see the program end, but vice president Al Checca said that the borough will save about $6,000. Councilman David Jones noted that council isn’t ending the K-9 program.
“The letter said that (Glick) is retiring it,” Jones said. “That’s the official end of it. He’s the one that still made the decision, per that letter, to pull the program. If he would’ve said, ‘I’m not pulling it out, you guys have to cancel it on me,’ and if we did, that’s a different discussion.
“He’s the one who initiated the retirement of the program and it’s ending because of that letter. That’s the official ending of the program no matter what we discuss behind closed doors.”
In other business, Checca said that Glick’s contract needs to be renewed and the borough needs to figure out what it wants to offer.
“That’s where we’re at with that,” Checca said. “We need to put together an offer as far as the chief’s contract goes.”
There were also discussions regarding the police contract with a revision regarding uniform allotments. It was also noted that Glick’s wife is retiring at the end of the year and he will need benefits, effective Jan. 1.
“As far as I’m personally concerned, we can put the stamp of approval on the new police contract,” Checca said. “But not the chief’s contract yet. We still have a lot of legwork to do on that one.”
Also on Monday, Rachel Upadhyay of KU Resources Inc. updated council on Porcelain Park, the former long-since closed industrial site. Upadhyay and borough officials hope to see future development at the park, but on Monday she informed council of roadways expected to be constructed on the property by next year.
The property has restrictions on educational, recreational and residential use among other uses. Upadhyay said there was room for five 10,000 square-foot buildings, a 5,000 square-foot building and two 20,000 square foot buildings.
The proposed roadways, Upadhyay spoke of on Monday, which would be a phased project, would connect from Third Street to underneath the bridge on Second Street. The base bid would construct a point on the existing roadway to a connection on Third Street. An alternate proposal would be to continue the connection to Third Street and finish the loop.
“We’re trying to attract tenants to the site,” Upadhyay said.
She added that council needs to decide whether it wants proposed roadways to be public or private. There is also stormwater management on site that would collect from roadways and catch basins and re-route to a detention basin at a lower point on the property.
Upadhyay said that they’re going through the environmental permitting process for the full site build, so the permit will be there. She added that the road project is expected to be bid out in the spring.
Also on Monday, council members noted that they will need to have a planning commission in place for a potential Porcelain Park project and that it’s important to recruit new members. There is one vacancy on the planning commission and there will likely be two, as council is expected to act on Tom Tatone’s resignation at its next regular meeting on Oct. 21.
“It’s important that we fill these positions,” Jones said. “All those people on Facebook that talk about wanting something done with that property, here is their opportunity to be part of that process. Here’s an opportunity to be part of the decision making.”
Council also discussed:
- The East Owens Avenue project, noting that the signs are up, while the fencing and flood control is expected to start later this month. Also, it was discussed to place no parking signs along North Ligonier Street to allow large trucks to make the bend;
- The public works department is starting winter equipment preparation and also touched on a new salt shed in the borough. The salt shed is completed and the walls are coated. There’s 70 tons of salt on hand and officials ordered 100 tons for the winter, adding that the new shed holds 230 tons of salt;
- Half of the cover is on the community pool and the other half will be sent back to the manufacturer. It will take two weeks before the pool is fully covered and the cover is expected to last 20 to 25 years;
Items expected to be addressed at council’s next meeting:
- Westmoreland County Transit Authority local share assessment for the 2019-20 fiscal year, no change of $924 from this year;
- A change order for the Derry Borough tax collector for occupation tax software, a one-time charge of $1,187.50;
- A payment of minimum municipal obligation to the state municipal retirement system;
- A property on 304 S. Chestnut St., consolidating two lots into one;
- Discussion regarding events like active shooter situations and how to alert residents throughout the borough information so they can remain safe.