The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 21, 2013

Township drops out of study

— When Conemaugh Township officials heard that Paint Township was exploring the idea of forming a regional, independent police force, supervisors saw it as a no-risk opportunity to join the study.

But weeks after signing a letter of intent to explore the idea with other Windber-area com­munities, Conemaugh’s supervisors decided to opt out, saying they changed their minds because of guidelines under the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Conemaugh, which had hoped to be part of a larger, secondary police study, had to be grouped into the main study, the supervisors said.

“We wanted them to consider one with Conemaugh Township involved and one without. But DCED wanted just one study,” Supervisor Dean Glessner said.

He noted that the township was just exploring cost-saving possibilities and was – and still is – “happy without a force.”

Conemaugh and Shade townships were late additions to the study. Paint Township and the boroughs its force covers – Benson, Central City, Paint, Scalp Level and Windber – have been discussing the idea since late last year.

Conemaugh doesn’t want to derail their effort by being part of their main study, Glessner said.

Glessner said Supervisor Steve Buncich, the board chairman, called Paint Township Chief Rick Skiles to let him know Conemaugh was dropping out.

“It doesn’t mean we couldn’t take a look at it sometime down the road or look at another study,” Glessner said.

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