Montrose okays police for Forest Lake

BY STACI WILSON

Montrose Police coverage in Forest Lake Twp. is on target to begin by April 1.

Montrose Borough Council voted in favor Monday night of entering into a contract with the neighboring township.

The measure passed in a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Tony Pickett standing opposed. Councilwoman Julanne Skinner was not present at the meeting.

The agreement for police services is now in the hands of the Forest Lake supervisors. They are expected to discuss the matter at the March 4 township meeting.

Forest Lake Supervisor Frank Pinkowski attended the Montrose meeting. He thanked council for their approval.

“Going forward, I think this will be mutually beneficial to everyone, including the overall county,” Pinkowski said.

Prior to offering its approval, council members questioned Borough Police Chief Dale Smith about some of the procedural points of the proposal, such as court time involved.

Smith said that in the case of New Milford Borough, time spent in district court takes up little of an officer’s time. In cases where a misdemeanor or higher is charged, Smith said, the county district attorney’s office handles the case in district court, not the arresting officer.

The Montrose force also provides contracted police services in New Milford Borough.

Smith also said that several of the patrolmen on the Montrose roster are also part of the Silver Lake Police Department and therefore know the Forest Lake roads.

Silver Lake’s police department had provided contracted police services in Forest Lake until the end of 2012.

The borough renewed its insurance policy with current provider DGK and Cummings Insurance with a premium increase and adding an additional $1 million in umbrella coverage.

Jim Davis, of the insurance company, said the state mandated coverage stemming from the Cancer Presumptive Act of 2011 is forcing premiums up and fewer companies are writing new policies.

Davis said all municipalities are going to feel the effect of the mandate.

The factor driving premiums deals with workers’ compensation coverage for firemen.

Davis said the firefighters exposed to a Class 1 carcinogen within 600 weeks – about 11-1/2 years) are eligible to collect workman’s compensation under the act (Act 46 of 2011).

The Chocolate and Wine Festival was given permission to close a portion of Chestnut St., between Maple and Church), noon-10 p.m., on Saturday, May 18.