The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

November 16, 2013

Union County police and fire forces ask Bucknell to ante up

LEWISBURG — Two Union County organizations charged with the safety of Bucknell University want the school to begin donating directly toward their operations.

The Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department, which has spent 500 hours responding to matters involving students this year, recently asked Bucknell to contribute to its coffers.

University spokesman Andy Hirsch said Bucknell representatives had a separate but similar meeting with officials from William Cameron Engine Company, which provides fire and emergency medical services to the campus.

Police Chief Paul Yost, Lewisburg Mayor Judy Wagner and East Buffalo Township Supervisor Thomas Zorn, all members of the police commission, met with university officials Oct. 29, Yost said.

Commission officials presented the school with cost-analysis data, specifically the police force’s operating costs and amount of time it spends responding to student incidents.

The 500 man-hours at Bucknell is about average for the year to date, Yost said.

Regional police track all man-hours because its division of power is done by “police protection units,” a calculation of the number of hours in a year a police officer works.

It’s how Lewisburg and East Buffalo Township, the two municipalities the police serve, determine their respective financial obligations. East Buffalo Township pays for about 52 percent of the police protection units and Lewisburg, 48 percent.

Because Bucknell University spans both municipalities — about two-thirds of the campus is in East Buffalo Township, Zorn said — it takes man-hours from each side of the power pool.

Bucknell does not pay real-estate taxes to East Buffalo Township, Zorn said, because it is all nontaxable land there, exempt under tax code for being an educational institution.

In the past, Lewisburg received an annual, negotiated contribution from Bucknell, Councilman Trey Casimir said. At the time, the borough also had its own police force.

“The understanding was (the money went) to expenses incurred by the police that were associated with Bucknell,” he said, such as events or additional security as well as incidents involving students.

The agreements ended when the borough helped Bucknell obtain a $1 million loan from the state to refurbish and open the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore downtown.

“It was structured such that the borough was recipient of the loan,” Casimir said. “So Bucknell pays that amount, which rises year to year, to pay off that loan.”

Right now, the amount is about $50,000.

Casimir said he had voted against the move because “the loan will be repaid but the expenses will continue.”

The loan still has about 20 years left, Casimir said, adding that “(Bucknell is) a great asset to community and we’ve worked to deepen and further the relationship with them.”

Hirsch confirmed in a statement that several university representatives met with Yost, Wagner and Zorn to discuss the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department’s budget, its role in policing areas in Lewisburg where Bucknell students live, and its interest in the school providing support for the police department’s budget.

“They were both good discussions,” Hirsch said of the meetings with the police commission and William Cameron officials.

William Cameron Chief Steve Bolinsky could not be reached for comment by deadline Saturday.

William Cameron EMS is the primary ambulance service of the area and the main moneymaker for the engine company. During last winter’s House Party weekend, 15 Bucknell students were taken to Evangelical Community Hospital for treatment for alcohol overdose. Bucknell has since canceled House Party weekend and is making other moves to address campus drinking.

Bucknell is “proud of our strong partnerships, and we appreciate their taking the time to talk with us about these specific matters,” Hirsch said of the meetings.

Yost told East Buffalo Township supervisors that Bucknell’s reaction to considering financial support was “positive.” Bucknell officials were “receptive” in the Oct. 29 meeting, he said, and both sides “will continue their dialogue.”

A report on Bucknell’s website, “Fast Facts: Economic Impact in 2009-10,” states Bucknell makes payments to Lewisburg and East Buffalo Township in lieu of tax contributions. Zorn said there is no line item in the East Buffalo Township budget for contributions from Bucknell. Same goes for Lewisburg, Casimir said.

The report also states that as a large Valley employer, Bucknell paid taxes of $1.6 million to local governments during the 2009-10 academic year.

n Email comments to esocha@dailyitem.com.

1
Text Only
News
  • xfire20b.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE — A fire Sunday damaged BJ’s Steak & Rib House, 291 Mill St., and endangered a neighboring shop and apartment building.

    April 20, 2014 6 Photos

  • Chase leads to jail

    MILTON — Charges were pending Sunday against a man allegedly tied to a rash of recent burglaries in Milton borough who ran from Milton Police on Saturday.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Police: 3 steal debit cards, $10G in jewelry for drug trip to NY

    NEW BERLIN — Three Valley teenagers are under investigation for allegedly stealing debit cards and roughly $10,000 in jewelry from three parked vehicles in Union County earlier this month to fund a trip to New York to buy drugs.

    April 20, 2014

  • Valley farmers keep eye out for deadly pig virus

    CAMP HILL — Pork producers across the commonwealth — and in the Valley — are on the alert for a still existing virus that last year killed 12 piglets in Pennsylvania and a million piglets around the country.

    April 20, 2014

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website (www.westernunion.com) is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.
     

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.