YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The Borough Council, meeting via teleconference on April 6, unanimously approved a request by the police chief to reclassify two positions within the department from Private First Class to Corporal.

The reclassification would create a new level of oversight within the department - first line supervisor - for two full-time officers with at least three years of experience in the borough.

The new level of oversight “would create an observable career path with potential mobility,” said Chief Joseph Kelly, while boosting departmental morale.

“It would also put our officers on par with many of the other comparable boroughs and municipalities in the county,” said the Chief.

According to Kelly, First Line Supervisors train, coach and mentor new officers. “Being an agency of part-time officers ripe with turnover this task is critical to our mission.”

They also manage critical incidents and complex investigations. “We’ve seen over the last 24 to 36 months some very complex investigations that have been managed by these men and closed by them,” said Kelly. “Hopefully we’ll have some good news on an investigation that has been going on for about a year shortly.”

While patrol officers are the most readily identifiable and readily contacted borough employee, Kelly said “it’s the first line supervisors who ensure they internalize our organization’s culture and present our core values.”

The promotion of two borough officers from Private First Class to Corporal would come with an annual salary increase of just under $1,000, boosting their annual salary from $74,187 to $75,164.

The two Private First Class positions they would be vacating will be backfilled by officers from within the department, including one full time and one part-time position.

The reclassification will now be referred to the borough’s Civil Service Commission and Attorney, which will determine the next steps.

In other business, council unanimously voted to accept a Letter of Intent from the United States Postal Service to extend its lease with the borough for another five years. For many years, the USPS has rented space in the borough hall for its borough substation.

“I was pretty happy to get this because it seems like a lot of smaller post office stations are starting to close up. This is a good thing,” said Borough Manager Paula Johnson told council.

Council also voted to accept a temporary amendment to its service contract with Republic Services as a result of COVID-19.

The hauler has temporarily suspended bulk item pickup due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also moved Saturday’s trash pickup to Friday due to Saturday closure of the landfill, also due to COVID-19.

Until the emergency is over, trash pickup will take place on Wednesday and Friday mornings with no bulk pickup.

In other action, council unanimously gave the borough’s engineer unanimous approval to prepare a land acquisition grant application not to exceed $4,000.

At its next meeting on April 21, council will decide whether to move forward with the grant application, which would partially fund the acquisition of the former PECO substation property next to the Mary Yardley Footbridge in Rivermawr.

As part of the grant application, the borough will be appraising the property, which is located in the borough’s floodplain and is not developable. If the appraisal comes out favorable to the borough, council is poised to move forward with the grant, which would require a 50 percent match.

The borough’s engineer told council they are looking into other grants, including a Growing Greener grant, that could serve as a match for the project.

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