New Castle News

Local News

March 28, 2014

City police officer retirements OK’d

NEW CASTLE — New Castle will lose two police officers next month.

The New Castle Police Pension Board accepted the retirements of Cynthia Collingwood and Nathaniel Akins on Thursday.

Collingwood’s retirement is effective Friday and Akins’ is effective April 19.

Akins has been with the department since April 1985 and Collingwood, since January 1989.

Chief Robert Salem said he intends to promote two part-time officers to fill those positions, then ask city council to hire two new part-time officers.

In other matters during city council’s meeting on Thursday ...

•The city of New Castle will buy a property it has been leasing and using as an impound lot.

Council approved a resolution Thursday for the purchase of the property at 28 W. Grant St. from Michael D. Robinson Sr. for $135,000. The city has been leasing the lot for $1,000 a month since last year.

Solicitor Jason Medure said once the city closes on the sale, council will have to adopt an ordinance to accept the deed.

The city will make a lump sum payment of $30,000 and pay the balance of $105,000 at 4 percent interest over 48 months.

The city anticipates recouping its cost from fees collected from the impoundment of vehicles.

Last year, the city realized about $29,000 from the lot, which did not begin operating until nearly May, according to business administrator Stephanie Dean. So far this year, the city has realized about $9,000, she said.

Most often, the cars impounded are involved in criminal cases.

•New Castle will join the county in seeking state funds to develop a master plan for three recreation areas.

City council adopted a resolution Thursday to partner with the county in submitting a joint application to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to include the master plan as part of the county’s Greenways and Trails Plan.

The three areas in the city to be included are Cascade Park, Gaston Park and Deshon complex.

Donielle Russell of the Lawrence County Planning Department, called the joint effort “a groundbreaking precedent for the entire state.”

She said Ellwood City has passed a similar resolution and Union Township is expected to participate in the application as well.

DCNR requires a 50 percent local match. The city’s share has yet to be established. The county will be providing in-kind services, which are expected to lower the city’s match.

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