All three member municipalities of the Southern Regional Police Department have voted to allow a fourth borough to join the department.
The New Freedom council rounded out the voting Monday when it unanimously voted to allow Stewartstown to join the department.
"I think it's good for Southern Regional," said Brady Terrell, New Freedom council president. "The more of a base there is to spread out the cost, the better it is for everyone."
Councils in Shrewsbury and Glen Rock also passed the measure unanimously.
Terrell said the addition of Stewartstown to the department would ensure the same caliber of police service throughout much of southern York County.
Money saved: With a fourth borough poised to become a full fledged member of the department, Stewartstown and other member municipalities stand to see cost-savings.
"It also reduces the cost for the three other municipalities. It's a win-win for everybody," said Michael Ridgely, president of the Shrewsbury council.
Stewartstown is projected to save more than $100,000 a year in police costs after it buys into the department.
With about $118,000 in physical assets, Stewartstown would have to put forward $370,000, spread out over a four-year period, to buy in.
At $123,380, first-year costs are higher because of a need to remark Stewartstown's police fleet and to buy new equipment. The borough would then pay $82,140 each year for the next three years.
Stewartstown, which budgeted about $445,000 for its four-man department in
2013, would see savings after the buy-in process is finished. If Stewartstown were currently a member of the department, it would pay $331,599 for coverage in 2014.
The officers with the Stewartstown department would be hired on by Southern Regional.
Final votes: As part of the merger process, the municipalities are reworking the inter-municipal agreement to factor in Stewartstown coming on board.
One change to the agreement, said Richard Shiles, president of the Glen Rock council, is that the department's yearly budget won't have to be unanimously approved by the municipalities. Instead, only a majority of the municipalities would have to approve it.
Before Stewartstown can join Southern Regional, council members must vote to do so and the police commission must approve the deal. Stewartstown council members already cast a vote to disband their own department.
A vote in Stewartstown is anticipated in November or early December. The police commission will vote on the matter at its Wednesday, Nov. 6, meeting.
Shiles, Terrell and Ridgely said it's likely the department will begin providing service to Stewartstown starting in 2014.
-- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.