Savings seen in Hanover

Hanover’s officials need to cool down.

The town, which has a population of more than 7,100 residents, is facing a hike in the cost of police protection from the county Sheriff’s Department. Currently, the town has an agreement to pay $325,860 to the county. That rate, however, is scheduled to increase 6 percent in 2014 and 7 percent in 2015.

“Really soon we will be a million-dollar town for police coverage – between what the town pays, what the village is going to pay, the fuel cost and the extra for them to take over the school resource officer program,” town Supervisor Todd Johnson said during last week’s meeting. “It is going to cost a million very soon.”

Maybe. But add in the expenses for the village of Silver Creek when the Police Department was fully functioning and the total cost of having both operating in the town of Hanover was nearly $900,000. Without the village department, there is an overall savings of about $211,000 – or 23 percent.

All told, for 2013 the village of Silver Creek and Hanover are paying about $689,000 this year for police protection – or about $100 per resident.

To offer some perspective, one needs to look to the city of Dunkirk. According to the 2013 budget, policing costs total $3.2 million. That translates to about $265 per resident.

Without question, the town of Hanover has the better deal.

Now, Town Board members are looking to work with the village regarding a police protection agreement with the sheriff. The option is worth an attempt, especially if it saves residents some money.

One less department in the town already does that.