Residents and patrons of businesses in Downtown Tamaqua will get a break on parking. Borough Council voted to change the enforcement hours of parking meters from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with no enforcement on Saturdays, Sundays, and Borough holidays.
Council also adopted a resolution approving the agreement between the borough and the John E. Morgan foundation to contribute to the operation and maintenance of the Bungalow pool for 2010. According to Borough Manager Kevin Steigerwalt, the terms of the agreement are the same as they have been in previous years. "This is a generous donation from the Foundation," said Council president Micah Gursky, "and it really helps our Bungalow out."
Council also opened bids for the 2010 street resurfacing materials, but referred the items to Steigerwalt to determine the lowest bids, based on delivery versus pick-up prices. The matter will be voted on at the next meeting.
A motion to flood the basketball court at Willing Park for ice skating and hockey, made by Councilwoman Cathy Miorelli died for lack of a second. Miorelli made her motion in response to what she called "numerous requests" from the public to flood the park. She also asked if any of the other borough basketball courts were suitable for flooding. Councilman Steve Tertel responded that although he was not opposed to the idea, he had concerns about the damage that ice could do to the court, which was resurfaced last year. Tertel added that when he was younger, skating was done on Kellner's Dam. Miorelli responded that skating on the dam is not as safe as skating on top of a solid surface would be. Steigerwalt added that it would be necessary to correctly install some sort of liner to protect the court.
Miorelli grew frustrated with the lack of support from the rest of the council members. "This is something so simple," she said, "and it wouldn't cost a lot." Council president Micah Gursky asked her if she understood the concerns about the damage to the court. "I understand that it comes from the same boys who bought a police car illegally," she responded. Gursky also added that the ESRC has a designated skating area in Mary D.
Borough employee and Code Enforcement Officer Jim Barron added that in previous years attempts had been made to flood the courts and at the current time, the courts do not hold water. Borough resident Justin Startzel spoke up in favor of the project and asked the Borough to keep the idea in mind.
The South Ward Fire Company was designated as the borough's emergency operations center. Borough Hall had previously been the operation command center; however, after several floods in the past few years, the decision was made to move the center to higher ground, which is also located near the high school and middle school complex, which could be used as an evacuation site.
Council heard from Attorney Stephen Elwood, who is representing property owner Dino Ciccozzi, regarding adding a loading zone area in front of his establishment on East Broad Street.
Patricia Dougherty, a resident of Tuscarora, addressed Council regarding an automobile accident that she was involved in in the Borough. According to Dougherty, she was rear-ended. Both she and the other car operator moved their vehicles to an adjacent parking lot, where they exchanged insurance information and phone numbers. They then left the scene. Upon trying to contact the other driver, Dougherty learned that the phone number that had been provided was disconnected. At that point, she contacted the police. She questioned information that was given to her by the police at that time and expressed dissatisfaction at not being able to address the police chief and having her matter handled by a clerk. "As Council and the people who oversee this town, and what goes on in the town, you need to be aware of this and allow the Mayor to direct the poice chief to correct the matter," she added. Gursky asked Dougherty to follow up with the police chief and the Mayor. "The Borough Council is not going to get involved," he said.