MOUNT CARMEL - Borough police Cpl. David Donkochik said the delay in contract negotiations between officers and council was caused by the changes to insurance resulting from the Affordable Care Act.

"We were trying to resolve a contract that had a lot of unknowns," he said. "No one could get any answers as far as the future of this Obamacare plan, which, in our opinion, really does not benefit us as a whole in any way."

He made it clear the issues in contract negotiations were not caused by anyone within the borough.

"We understand the borough is in a financial constraint with generating revenue," he said. "We fared out as well as we thought we could."

The contract was signed Thursday and will cover police through 2016.

Donkochik said the new plan would cost the officers more, partly due to the new partial contribution. Some of the increase would be offset in a 25-cent raise given to officers. Donkochik said he is unsure how heath care costs under the new plan would compare to previous coverage.

Patrol cars

Two other notable changes for the Mount Carmel borough police were announced Thursday.

A replacement schedule for patrol cars was established, and each car will now be replaced at 100,000 miles. Council members estimate a new car will be purchased every 20 months.

Tony Matulewicz, council president, said maintenance of cars with more than 100,000 miles is more costly than replacing then due to the start-and-stop nature of a patrol route.

Borough police currently have four patrol cars, in addition to a van donated to the station and doesn't factor into the replacement schedule.

One car in the force has been selected for replacement already. A 2008 Dodge Charger will be traded with a $5,000 value at The Sunbury Motor Company. A 2015 Ford Police Interceptor will be purchased at a price not to exceed $30,000.

Matulewicz said the new vehicle will come with a maintenance contract for nearly 100,000 miles.

Officer resigns

A part-time officer, Shane Reamer, resigned. Borough manager Edward T. Cuff III will post the position online.

Currently, the force has eight full-time and three part-time officers.

In other news

The borough council passed the Administrative Consent Resolution of May 15, 2014; Resolution 2014-04: Fair Housing; Resoution 2014-05: Adopting a Policy Regarding Non-Violent Civil Rights Demonstrations in Accordance with P.L. 101-144 Section 519; Resolution 2014-06: Authorizing The Submission of An Application To The Pennsylvania Department Of Community And Economic Development For FFY 2014 Under The CDBG Program.

Another resolution, which authorizes Cuff to execute certain documents on behalf of the Mount Carmel Borough for the Pennnsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Community Block Grant and Competitive Programs, was passed. Matulewicz said authorizing Cuff to sign the documents was necessary due to the deadlines of grants.

The borough council approved hiring a consultant from the Zigmund Co., LTD, to examine insurance and property costs for one year at $4,800. The firm was previously engaged by the borough in 2009.

The 2014-2015 LATS budget was approved. The budget was decreased from $495,000 to $348,992.

The borough council accepted SEDA-COG's recommendation to award the Second Street reconstruction project to M&J Excavating, Inc., at a cost of $54,016.66, pending satisfactory receipt of bonds and insurance.