The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 15, 2012

Scalp Level council approves payments for Paint police

David Hurst

PAINT — Communities covered by Paint Township’s police force are chipping in to keep the department running.

Paint Borough and Central City have advanced funds they owed for the rest of the year’s coverage – and Scalp Level voted Monday night to follow suit, sending its remaining November and December payments.

“They have assured us it will be designated for police-only,” said Borough President Andy Roman, moments before the board unanimously voted to send its $4,583 in remaining police protection dues.

The move follows a meeting with Paint Township last week, where Paint Township officials outlined steps being taken to get back on track.

Cash-strapped since August, the township has laid off most of its employees, including road crew workers, clerks and police Chief Rick Skiles, who continues to oversee the force at no pay.

Township officials have a $75,000 bridge loan to cover past due and upcoming bills for township business. But Roman said the call out to the communities the department covers was necessary to ensure Paint will be able to cover police fuel, maintenance and insurance costs, among others, through the end of the year.

“It puts us all in a tough situation,” Councilwoman Noretta Haydu said. “But I think sticking (with Paint’s force) is our best option as long as it’s there for us.”

This is the second time Paint Township is approaching Windber for help.

Last time, the request came unexpectedly – and drew ire from some on Windber council.

In the end, the borough voted to send payments every other week as long as Paint Township met stipulations, which included keeping them informed on new developments.

Unless council calls for a special meeting, Windber would likely consider the new request at council’s Oct. 23 meeting, Borough Manager Fred Oliveros said.

The borough owes about $43,000 for the remainder of the year.