Meyersdale Borough Council approved a temporary furlough of two borough policemen at a reorganizational meeting this week.
Full-time police officers Dave Holler and Matt Wright will be off work for the next 14 weeks due to financial problems the borough is facing, according to council members.
Union representatives for the officers made an offer to council, according to vice president Bill McKenzie. The officers are represented by Teamsters Local No. 205.
"The agreement between the union and council was that they could lay off the two oldest full-time policemen," McKenzie said. "The part-time (officers) will pick up the slack for the next 14 weeks."
Meyersdale's police department includes full-time officers Holler and Wright as well as part-time officers Richie Brant and Tim Pritts.
Though safety is a concern, many council members feel it is the only option left to help balance the borough's finances. Council is looking at ways to reduce spending and recently approved a budget that raises property taxes from 11 to 13 mills.
"They have agreed to this so we can try to get some money in the budget," councilman Perry Lantz said. "I have some concerns about safety, but we had to do something — our hands are tied."
Lantz estimates the layoff will save the borough $25,000 to $30,000.
Council also approved the police contract Monday. The former contract expired last December.
McKenzie said the new contract closely resembles the expired one, with some minor changes.
"I think it leans more toward the council and the borough more than the other one did," he said.
Council will reopen the budget for discussion at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Friday at the town's community center.
"I think right now we're taking the position that every dollar counts," Lantz said.