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Johnstown Police Department aims for new patrol car

October 20, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The city Police Department wants to purchase a new $28,000 marked patrol car, which was among requests reviewed during the Common Council's annual 2013 budget work session Monday at City Hall.

The council uses the meeting every year to review city departments' budgets in advance of Mayor Sarah Slingerland releasing her tentative budget.

"I want to thank all [department heads] for working so diligently with us on budgets that take into account difficult times," Slingerland said.

Article Photos

Johnstown Police Chief Mark Gifford discusses his department’s proposed 2013 budget with the Common Council Monday at City Hall.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich

Police Chief Mark Gifford requested a new $28,000 marked vehicle, which includes lights and special striping. He said the police department's fleet currently includes four marked units, two unmarked units and an animal control officer pickup truck.

"We've had a lot of success with the Impalas," Gifford said.

In reviewing his budget, the chief also said he increased the clothing account by $1,000 because officers occasionally need new holsters.

Gifford said he increased his supplies account $1,500 because he wants to replace two of the department's 1980s to 1990s-vintage radar units per year.

"Out radar units are very old," he said.

In other departmental budget reviews:

Fire Chief Bruce Heberer plugged in a proposed 2 percent salary increase. He increased overtime, in part due to two potential retirements.

"The single biggest jump is the fuel costs," he said.

City Engineer Chandra Gifford said no major pieces of Department of Public Works equipment are proposed for 2013. The department currently has 52 pieces of equipment.

"We actually saw some savings in the snow removal budget line," she said, because of last year's light winter.

The city's Sidewalk Replacement Program was suspended for the second year in 2013. Cotter said the city made "vital infrastructure" improvements to sewers, streets and buildings and grounds from this year's savings.

Johnstown Public Library Director Erica Wing stated: "The big goal is to keep costs low and help our patrons."

She said the library's projected income is down 10 percent and a 2.5 percent increase in materials is budgeted.

Johnstown Senior Citizens Center Director Michelle Jones called for a "slight increase" in wages for the three main part-time center staff - secretary, coordinator of services and a 25-hour custodian. She said all have worked at the center three to four years.

"I would like to keep them," Jones said. "I think they're an asset to what we do at the center."

The mayor's roughly $13,000 annual salary is not slated to increase.

"I think the salary level is way too low for that position," said 2nd Ward Councilman Chris Foss. "It's less than the part-time [city] custodian and I think the hours are more."



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