Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman addressed nearly 100 people at the CBICC luncheon on Monday afternoon.
He talked about the state budget and gave a legislative update, but the conversation took a turn to another topic that has been at the center of heated debate.
Senator Corman addressed the State Police consolidation plans for Philipsburg and Rockview. He admits he has concerns of his own.
“If you could point to a, b and c positive things that are going to happen, that’d be one thing,” Corman said. “I don’t know that they’ve achieved that yet.”
Corman isn’t sure the Pennsylvania State Police plan to consolidate Philipsburg and Rockview barracks is a good idea.
“You think the proposal to merge is for efficiencies and for cost savings. When I heard that they’re going to continue to keep the Philipsburg facility open and use it for administrative, now I don’t really know where the savings are and what the purpose is,” he said.
As far as Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal for a per capita $25 fee for municipalities without local police, there are lingering questions and concerns from local municipalities.
“There seems to be a disconnect in terms of the amount of, and cost of, state protection,” Adam Brumbaugh, College Township Manager said. “The idea of a $25 per capita fee that is assessed and especially, as the Senator said today, on municipalities of a certain size, I think there is an equity issues that’s involved in that.”
College Township contracts their police services with the State College Borough Police department. The township spends about a million and a half dollars each year for coverage, about $150 per capita.
“It’s expensive, we’re spending about $110 per hour to have police coverage,” Brumbaugh said. “Be that as it may, it’s still a good bargain for College Township residents.”
Corman said ultimately, the decision to consolidate is an internal decision that will be made by State Police and the administration.
It’s a plan, so far, that seems imminent.
“We’re going to keep pushing back because I don’t think we’re comfortable yet with where they’ve gotten to on the decision,” Corman said.
Senator Corman said discussions are ongoing.