SOMERSET — A Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs representative discussed common borough problems and their solutions Thursday.
Association director of government affairs Edward Troxell visited Somerset Borough to talk with the county’s borough leaders. He said many of the same issues have been impacting boroughs for years.
The financial burden of funding a police department has caused councils to look at other options. Some have minimized their police department, formed mutual aid agreements or eliminated the department to rely on state police.
“Funding the police department is very difficult,” he said. “A lot of folks favor their local police, but we also like people to look at regionalization,” he said.
He said regionalization can be organized through a mutual aid agreement or by forming a multiple-municipality police force.
This way funding comes from multiple boroughs and keeps the police proximal.
Somerset Borough council member and association board member Fred Rosemeyer said he thinks finances are the biggest challenge for boroughs.
He said with costs increasing, smaller boroughs are having trouble with routine projects like winter road maintenance.
“If we had more cooperation with the state and federal government, that could help us. But the state doesn’t have any money either,” he said. “It’s a bad time in the country.”
Troxell also addressed council seat vacancies.