LAKEWOOD - The contract negotiations between Lakewood and Busti officials on a new police services contract is now affecting other shared services.
On Monday, the Lakewood Village Board tabled a resolution to fund $7,500 to the Busti-Lakewood Recreation Commission. David Wordelmann, village mayor, said the resolution should be tabled pending the negotiations with the police services contract with town officials.
"It is not wise to enter into a spending plan when we don't know where we will be with (the police services contract)," he said.
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 been passed back-and-forth between municipal officials. Officials from both municipalities have not wanted to go public with the cost numbers being negotiated.
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.
This is not the first time the Lakewood Village Board has discussed funding for the Busti-Lakewood Recreation Commission. Last year, the Village Board tabled a $15,000 line item in the budge before agreeing to appropriate $7,500. The board agreed one reason to lower the amount of funding was there was a surplus of more than $80,000 for the recreation commission. The board agreed if all the money isn't being used each year, maybe the amount appropriated should be decreased.
The Village Board's discussion about possible inequality in how much each municipality pays for shared services started last year with the payment for the recreation commission. Joseph Troche, Lakewood trustee, voiced his concern the village is paying unequally more for shared services. One example Troche gave was the court facility, which is housed in the Anthony C. Caprino Municipal Building, which the village owns. Troche said the village pays all the bills associated with the maintenance of the court facility and the building. After Troche's statement last year, Richard Sanders, Busti councilman, said the town does pay for use of the court facility through its contract for police services with the village.