Protecting The People

BUSTI – Officials in Busti and Lakewood have finally reached a long-term contract agreement on police services.

On Monday, the Busti Town Board passed a resolution agreeing to a five-year contract that was already passed by the Lakewood Village Board on May 13. Kenneth Lawton, Busti councilman, thanked Jesse Robbins, Busti supervisor, for his work on the negotiation process that has been ongoing for more than a year.

”It was good negotiation on your part, Jesse. You did a good job representing the town,” he said.

Robbins said at a future date, he and David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor, will go into more detail about the contract agreement. Since last year, officials from both municipalities have been discussing a new long-term contract agreement for police services. The town of Busti contracts with the village of Lakewood for services from the Lakewood-Busti Police Department. The last five-year agreement between the two entities ended in 2012. In November, both parties agreed to a one-year contract extension so officials could continue discussing a new five-year deal.

In February, it seemed officials from both municipalities had reached a new deal, but no final agreement was accepted. The two sides had reached an agreement as far as how much Busti would pay for police services. However, at the time, both sides couldn’t agree to all the terms in the contract. Robbins said those terms have now been agreed to by both sides.

When the town of Busti paid $360,000 to the village of Lakewood for police services for 2013, it was about 28 percent of the more than $1.3 million Lakewood-Busti Police Department budget. During negotiations on a long-term contract, it was determined the police department answered around 37 percent of its calls in the town of Busti, excluding the village. Because of this number, Lakewood officials made it known they would like Busti residents to pay around 37 percent for police services. In the proposal Busti officials passed in February, it stated town residents, excluding those who live in the village, would pay around $490,000 for the police department at the end of the contract. This total would be around the 37 percent of the department’s current cost.

In other business, there will be a public hearing scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3, for a special-use permit for the business expansion at Southern Tier Brewing Company.