Coatesville officials discuss arson costs

February 19, 2009 9:47:45 AM PST
After a long discussion of budget problems in a southeastern Pennsylvania city struggling with a rash of arsons, at least two residents are calling on the city manager to resign. They added their requests Wednesday night to similar calls by two Coatesville City Council members who said City Manager Harry Walker deceived the council about a budget shortfall. Walker says he doesn't intend to resign.

The latest flap came when Walker asked Council for $900,000 from a trust fund. That would include $624,000 for police overtime, $41,000 for firefighter overtime, $82,000 for a new police officer and $77,000 for a new firefighter.

The Coatesville area has had 23 arsons this year and more than 20 last year. Of $156,000 budgeted for police overtime, Walker says more than $100,000 has already been spent by mid-February.

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Information from: Daily Local News, http://www.dailylocal.com

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