The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

August 23, 2013

Impound lot shaping up as revenue producer

BROOKFIELD — After only four months of operations, Brookfield Township police department’s impound lot has generated enough money to pay for half of the cost of building it and by next year, should be bringing in about $6,000.

Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino came up with the idea to open an impound lot next to the administration building both as a way to generate some income for the financially strapped department and also to ensure tighter control regarding vehicle requirements.

Since May, the department has netted $2,200. It cost about $5,000 to erect the lot, he said.

There haven’t been any unexpected difficulties, he said, and the decision to operate the township’s own lot rather than use space at local towing companies was based on a practice common throughout the state, he said.

“Every little bit helps. That $6,000 we raise can pay a lease payment for a year on a cruiser, or pay for fuel or help with staffing,” he said.

Faustino and township trustees agreed to put a 1.6 mill replacement levy on the November ballot, which will be the renewal of a levy first passed in 1976. If approved, it will bring in about $100,000 a year.

The November levy goal, Faustino said, isn’t to reach for the stars with funding for the department but rather take a reasonable approach to do his best to bring his budget back to where it was seven years ago.

State funding cuts have slashed his budget from $848,000 in 2006 to $750,000 this year, he said, and that has translated into a reduction in staffing and delays in fleet maintenance. Ever-increasing gas prices eat up a chunk of his budget as well, he said. Currently he pays about $34,000 a year for fuel.

The township has eight full-time patrolmen, including Faustino, and six part-tme patrolmen. Police answer about 635 calls a month, he said.

“I just want to keep it reasonable. I try to take a reasonable approach to everything. And with the impound lot, $6,000 isn’t a whole lot of money, it doesn’t make up for the amount we lost, but it’s money that I don’t have to go to the taxpayers and ask for,” he said.

Administrative assistant Erin Webber keeps meticulous records on each car in and out of the lot, he said, and he feels a lot more comfortable when a car is released from his impound lot rather than a private business. Among the many things required to pick up a car that has been impounded are proof of ownership, a current registration and license plate, proof of insurance, a valid driver’s license, and the owner must be present to sign for the vehicle.

Cars that are deemed unsafe can only be towed, not driven, from the lot, he said. Fees are a flat tow rate of $106.50, a $35 administration fee and storage fees of $25 per day for passenger vehicles and $50 a day for commercial vehicles or boats.

Vehicles that aren’t claimed within 30 days will be disposed of by the township, he said.

The township is also in the middle of a feasibility study with the city of Hubbard and Hubbard Township police departments to consider a consolidation. Right now the study is in the fact-finding stage, and there is a meeting set for September to update each municipality on the progress, he added.

“It’s something we’re looking at. But it isn’t something that will be happening, if it happens at all, immediately. We’re looking to see if it’s feasible. We have to see what problems would be involved and then decide if we’re able to resolve those problems,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story

  • News briefs from July 19, 2014

    Michigan man charged with assaulting girl here

    Sharon man charged with raping woman

    July 19, 2014

  • For sale Realty transfer tax hike headed for ballot

    Sharon voters will be deciding through a referendum whether city council can raise the realty transfer tax. Council gave first reading Thursday to an ordinance that phrases the question that will be printed on the November ballot.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bella recovering Vet: Dog lucky to be alive, should survive

    Although a veterinarian said an underweight dog found Thursday with a gruesome neck wound was lucky to be alive, her prognosis for recovery is good.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Alleged hit-run driver arrested

    Sharon police said Friday afternoon they had arrested a man believed to have driven a vehicle that struck an 11-year-old boy Thursday and left the scene.

    July 19, 2014