''The ball is in their court now,'' is how David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor, summed up negotiations with Busti officials on police services cost.
On Wednesday, Wordelmann and Jesse Robbins, Busti supervisor, met to continue talks on how much each municipality should pay for police services. Since June, officials from both municipalities have met several times to discuss a new contract agreement on how much each should pay annually for the Lakewood-Busti Police Department.
Through the negotiating process, cost numbers have passed back-and-forth between municipal officials. Richard Sanders, Busti councilman, and Joseph Troche, Lakewood trustee, have also been involved in the police contract talks. After each negotiation meeting, officials from the town and village then meet with their own boards in executive session to discuss the latest contract talks.
On Monday, it will be Robbins' turn to talk with his board.
''The Town Board will discuss it further Monday night and come up with another price,'' he said.
Officials from both municipalities have not wanted to go public with the cost numbers being negotiated. Robbins said the number has changed several times during the discussions.
''It still hasn't happened. We're not their, yet,'' Robbins said about an agreement.
Wordelmann said he is optimistic an agreement will be reached soon.
''Both of us are in agreement that we want to get this done,'' he said. ''We need to get to where both sides consider it a fair agreement.''
As of now, Lakewood pays 73 percent of the budget while Busti pays 27 percent. The Lakewood-Busti Police Department budget, with pension and insurance costs, is around $1.3 million a year.