Contract oversight curtails New Milford police service

BY STACI WILSON

With its contract with Montrose for police expired, New Milford will be without coverage until the borough councils work out a deal.

New Milford has contracted with Montrose for part-time police coverage for the past four years.

The issue of the contract came before Montrose Borough Council at the Jan. 6 meeting.

Chief Dale Smith told council members that New Milford was interested in continuing to utilize the Montrose force.

The council was presented with a contract that reflected the same costs to be paid as in the previous two-year contract. Montrose is paid $27 per hour for the time the police are serving New Milford Borough.

Councilman Sean Granahan said, “At the minimum, it should reflect (current) pay rates. It needs to be adjusted, at a minimum, for that.”

According to the contract, the matter was supposed to be settled in November 2013.

And with the contract ending Dec. 31, 2013, the police have not been able to provide coverage to New Milford.

Smith said, “They wanted us down there but we have no authority without a contract.”

Council President Tom LaMont said he thought council had talked about the New Milford agreement but could not recall what was discussed. He said he would check his meeting minutes and report back to council, effectively tabling the item to the next borough council meeting.

The borough will also be dealing with a change in its worker’s compensation insurance, as Councilman Craig Reimel said the borough received a notice of cancellation from its workers’ compensation insurance provider.

Recent changes to the law dealing with back coverage for firefighters have put the cost burden on the backs of municipalities where those companies are housed, Councilman Craig Reimel said.

Lamont said, “Nobody thought this thing through.”

He said the borough’s insurance representative was willing to come speak to council at the Jan. 20 scheduled meeting.