We got some positive news this week as Lower Nazareth Township, Northampton County, decided to remain with the Colonial Regional Police Department instead of withdrawing in favor of “free” state police coverage.
The Borough of Bath said earlier this year that it plans to withdraw from that regional force, and Nazareth’s exit could have put the department out of business. Instead, Nazareth and Hanover Township will work out a new funding agreement to accommodate the absence of Bath.
As readers of this newsletter know, “free” State Police coverage isn’t really free. It requires taxpayers who have a local police presence to pay twice, and puts pressure on the Motor License Fund as well as the General Fund to make up the difference.
What seemed to sway Nazareth residents and officials was the realization that the coverage could suffer, as other municipalities have discovered. The State Police do not enforce local ordinances, and response times can be lengthy at busy periods.
Perhaps they were also aware of the possibility that the General Assembly may eventually address this public policy inequity, and that communities could wind up paying more than they want for coverage that’s not nearly as good.
Transportation Issue Update
- Northampton County’s Lower Nazareth Township has decided to stick with the Colonial Regional Police Department, much to the relief of its other municipal member.
- State Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, is sponsoring Senate Bill 786, which would strengthen Pennsylvania’s distracted-driving laws.
- PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards visited the work site of Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway’s bridge over the Susquehanna River this week for an update.
- A group of local business, community and government leaders have formed a coalition to advocate for state and federal funding for two long-gestating, major highway projects in Centre County.
- Not surprisingly, many people these days are thinking of Pittsburgh as the home for considerable autonomous vehicle activities. A Huffington Post op-ed article reminds us that the city has a strong bicycle culture as well.
- The Washington Post reported that President Trump is abandoning one of the key tenets of his infrastructure plan, saying that public private partnerships aren’t want they’re cracked up to be.