SHARPSVILLE Borough looks at sharing services with township

The study would look for areas where joint operations might benefit both municipalities.
SHARPSVILLE, Pa. -- The borough and South Pymatuning Township have already agreed to study the possible merger of their police departments, so it seemed logical to take a more comprehensive look at the two municipalities.
Borough council voted Tuesday to enter into an intergovernmental project with the township to look at a joint comprehensive development plan. The township has yet to approve the comprehensive plan project.
The project doesn't include any merger or consolidation of governments, said Michael Wilson, borough manager.
It will be separate from the police study, but it would look at all other governmental operations to determine where joint efforts might be mutually beneficial, he said.
It would also be separate from the ongoing intergovernmental study involving Sharpsville, Sharon, Hermitage, Farrell and Wheatland that could lead to a recommendation for complete merger into a single municipality.
State grants: Wilson said the state Department of Community and Economic Development recently announced that it has grants to assist in such studies and that was another factor in deciding to proceed.
The borough and township would each have to come up with a $5,000 match to secure a grant of about $20,000, he said.
The two municipalities are also seeking about $25,000 in state grants to finance the police study.
Opposition: They voted just last month to launch that study, but opposition is already surfacing.
An anonymous letter began showing up in township mailboxes Monday urging residents to oppose any police merger with Sharpsville, claiming that the move would only benefit the borough by supplementing its police budget.
Township residents would lose their cost-effective, full-time police services, the letter claimed.
Borough and township officials said the letter is inaccurate and pointed out that the study hasn't even begun yet to determine if a merger would be feasible.
People shouldn't jump to conclusions, said borough Councilman Jack Cardwell.

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