PITTSTON – City council passed measures aimed at sharing regional municipal services and increasing the city's overall financial outlook during Wednesday night's regular council meeting.
The council unanimously approved a measure to join Dupont Borough in expressing its intent to the state Department of Community of Economic Development to share police services at some point in the future.
Pittston currently has six full-time and 14 part-time police officers. Although arrangements are in an extremely preliminary stage, Pittston Mayor Jason Klush characterized the likely scenario as Pittston's police department taking over Dupont police services.
Pittston officials were unable to confirm whether Dupont's current slate of 13 part-time officers would remain in their current roles, noting those discussions have not yet taken place.
At Dupont's council meeting on Nov. 13, there was no mention of any Dupont officers losing their jobs.
When questioned by several city residents as to whether the move was economically feasible for Pittston, Klush responded, We're not going into this to lose money.
The city will get a cut of traffic fines issued on the highways that run through Dupont, but Pittston officials do not anticipate getting any vast sums of money from the collections. The exact portion Pittston will get and the fee Dupont will pay for police services have not yet been set.
Representatives from the two municipalities will meet in December to construct the details of the shared services agreement.
In other matters:
• The council unanimously passed a measure to extend the property tax exemptions for city property owners who qualify for Luzerne County homestead tax exemptions.
The homestead exemptions allow for county homeowners who can demonstrate that they reside in the property they own to have $10,000 of the assessed value of their property exempt from taxation. City property owners can now have an additional $15,000 in exemptions.
Moskovitz painted the move as one that will allow homeowners relief and the opportunity to invest in their property, which will in turn enhance the property value and the aesthetics of city neighborhoods.
• The council held its first budget reading. The city will have a balanced $4.9 million budget with the property tax rate remaining at 6.85 mills.
City council will hold its next regular meeting on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.