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Board fills advisory panel

In other news, the board approved the adoption of a four-year contract with the Bethlehem Police Department. Under the new agreement, officers will forgo a cost-of-living salary increase for the next two years. In 2010, officers would receive a 2 percent raise and in 2011 a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase.

"It's a significant savings to the town and a significant sacrifice by the police department," said Cunningham.

Under the new deal, the police department has been granted enhanced state public retirement system benefits comparable to what other suburban police agencies receive. Members of the force will now contribute 5 percent toward individual health insurance costs; previously they did not have to pay. Dependent health insurance contributions will increase to 16 percent, from 15 percent. These amounts are in line with what other town employees pay, said Cunningham.

Scott Anson, president of the Bethlehem Police Benevolent Association, said he is pleased with the new contract.

"It works for both sides, it's a good deal for the town and for us," he said. ""

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