A study will be launched soon that could lead to closer ties between North East Borough and North East Township.

The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority today handing out ten grants worth more than $450,000.

Most of the money designed to foster collaboration and shared services.

The biggest grant, $100,000, will allow the borough and township to study the possibility of merging the water and sewer authorities.

It is believed the move could save money and increase efficiency.

The study will provide hard data.

Borough Council Vice President Denise McCumber said, "This money is real important to take the burden off the taxpayers. So we can do a study to make sure a collaboration between North East Borough and North East Township makes sense."

Township Supervisor Fred Shunk said, "We've looked at this for 20 plus years but it has never go to the point where we had the money and time to bring it all together. I think this is a shot to make it happen and come to a conclusion and make sure it is the right thing to do."

The grant will also fund a study of a regional police commission that would allow the township to use borough police on a contract basis.