Benefits may create changes to school officer’s agreement

EBENSBURG – Cambria Township supervisors want to change a proposed agreement with the Central Cambria School District dealing with a school resource officer grant.

The district was awarded a $60,000 grant earlier this year to pay for a township police officer to serve as a school resource officer, patrolling the grounds and interacting with students to maintain safety.

Both parties were working on an agreement for the township to administer the grant, which will fund the officer for the next two years.

But supervisors said at a Monday meeting that they want to change some of the agreement’s provisions.

Township solicitor Dennis Govachini said the current agreement shows the grant money going only toward wages, leaving the township to pay for Officer Nathan Stohon’s vacation, sick days and benefits.

The township also remains responsible for workers’ compensation, he said.

“The grant should pay for all of that,” Supervisor Robert Shook said.

Stohon was the officer who patrolled the school through the end of the 2012-13 school year, after administrators discovered a message threatening a school shooting the day before the senior prom.

Govachini said the township will need to check with its insurance company to clear up any possible issues with liability before making changes for the grant funding to pay for more than just police wages.

Govachini also said the agreement is written as being between the police department and the district and should be between the township and the district.

Superintendent Vincent DiLeo said he is unsure of the grant’s wording, and it may be that funds can only be used for pay and not benefits.

“The grant is what it is,” he said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no one from the township had contacted him about the proposed changes, DiLeo said, so he hadn’t had time to look into the grant’s parameters.

Chairman Supervisor David Hoover did not return a call for comment, but supervisors said Monday the change

shouldn’t affect Stohon’s pay.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.