CLEARFIELD – Police statistics continue to rise for Lawrence Township, and last night during executive session, the supervisors and Chief Doug Clark discussed the possibility of adding another officer to the force on a part-time basis to fill in with upcoming changes to staffing.
After the executive session, Clark made the request to hire a part-time officer conditionally. The person he has in mind is currently in the academy, and the condition would be if he passes.
The supervisors said they understand the need, but they are still in the midst of negotiations with the police union. Solicitor James Naddeo said they could also add the condition of setting the contract and the supervisors agreed.
Clark said there were 14 DUI arrests in October and over 90 percent of DUI arrests this year have been drug-related. Also in October, there were 117 criminal arrests compared to 58 in October of 2016, 194 traffic arrests versus 91 in 2016, and he said other statistics are improving.
“The guys and girls over there are doing a bang-up job—they’re working hard,” Clark said, adding that the officers are especially working hard on trying to curtail the opioid crisis.
Returning to the DUI arrests, Clark added that with the number of officers they have on duty per shift, 14 is an astronomical amount for one month.
Clark also presented the supervisors with some quotes for vehicles. The Chevrolet Caprice will reach its mileage limit in the spring, and he got quotes to replace that vehicle. Also, the gray SUV may reach its limit by fall, and they will need to consider replacement in the fall or spring of 2019.
The supervisors heard from Fire Chief Elliott Neeper, who said the Lawrence Township Fire Department has been awarded a grant for just over $56,000 for an air compressor and a washer and dryer.
He said $40,000 is allotted for the air compressor, but he cannot find one for less than $45,000 and asked the supervisors to approve $10,000 from the fire budget to help with that cost and any additional cost for the washer and dryer.
The compressor can be used by several fire departments to fill breathing units. The supervisors approved the request.
Under the solicitor’s report, Naddeo said he had an informational item. He said the state legislature approved Category 4 casino licenses for “mini casinos.”
He said if someone wanted to put a casino in the township, the supervisors would have the right to reject; however, they would need a resolution to that effect adopted by Dec. 31. The supervisors agreed they would not pass the resolution.
A public hearing for a proposed land use for timbering was held prior to the meeting and after some discussion and with some conditions, it was approved.
The land is owned by Soult Wholesale Co., located off Washington Avenue in Hyde, and the timbering will be done by Legacy Resource Partners.
Supervisor Bill Lawhead expressed concern about the roads being used, Lawhead Street and Powell Avenue, especially since it’s residential and there are kids going to and from the buses.
Aaron Rowles, the owner of the logging company, said he will not be using his logging truck to remove timber and instead will use his small dump truck.
The supervisors also asked that there not be any hauling between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. as well as holidays and weekends.
Under the code enforcement report, Code Enforcement Officer Debra Finkbeiner gave an update on a recent zoning work session.
One item discussed is making changes to the zoning where Lock Haven University Clearfield campus is to allow for expansion and also business growth, and also a change at Rivers Bend for the same reasons. She said they want to look at ordinances regarding chickens and livestock, landlords, fireworks, etc.
The zoning board reminds residents that they cannot open small businesses without permits, such as produce stands, craft stores, etc. Finkbeiner said this is not in regards to one-time selling events, like yard sales, but for ongoing small business.
The supervisors asked Naddeo to prepare the paperwork needed to dissolve the Wolf Run Industrial Development Authority, which hasn’t been active for several years.