Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Coplay, police reach contract agreement

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Three-year pact increases wages, life insurance but eliminates holidays

At Coplay Borough Council’s first regular meeting of the new year Jan. 15, Councilman Charles Sodl released details regarding the new police contract.

“We still have minor things that need to be approved,” he said.

If both sides could not have reached an agreement, the contract would have gone to arbitration. Council unanimously approved the contract to avoid the arbitration requirement.

The contract is for three years and gives officers a 3-percent raise each year. Life insurance for officers was increased.

There are no holidays in the schedule, which is designed to reduce overtime costs.

Medical insurance deductions were also increased to help rein in health care costs.

The contract adds a new perk — reimbursing officers for work calls made outside normal working hours. These calls are duty related and normally involve investigations into ongoing cases.

In a related move, the borough hired Kevin Torres as a part-time police officer.

Council approved BeerFest, a Coplay Sports event with Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce providing support. The event was characterized as part of the borough’s 150th anniversary celebration, but it is a separate and independent event.

Councilwoman Janet Eisenhauer reported to council that the borough’s library received a generous gift from Trinity United Church of Christ. The church was sold, and sale proceeds were distributed to nonprofits in the area. The library received a donation of $15,000.

Sodl commented that the new library board has increased residents’ awareness of the role the library plays in the community. There are no definite plans on how the money will be used, but Eisenhauer indicated that some of the funds will go to increasing access to technology.

Although plans for a new municipal building on Bridge Street have fallen through, there is continued discussion about moving the public works offices to Bridge Street. The borough owns the property and wants to make use of its investment.

Township Engineer Daniel Witczak, of Acela Engineering, is preparing the Saylor Park bid documents. He is working with organizations that offered assistance to the borough to get the park completed. The borough has plans to complete the project during the 150th anniversary celebration.