Borough personnel and emergency responders in Tamaqua will be getting an extremely useful tool in their arsenal to aid with borough-wide communication.
"If you're under a water-boil advisory, announcing it on the radio and putting it in the paper is no longer enough," said Councilman Brian Connely. "This is a state mandate," he said, referring to an "all-call" system that will be installed in the borough shortly.
Although the system will cost the borough $3,000, Connely explained that it is a state requirement, but in the long run, it will help the borough immensely.
"This software will do anything," he said. "If streets are going to be closed for snow removal or something, we can set up the call area for just one street."
The system, which will be implemented over the next few months, will allow borough workers to send out automated calls and messages to every number in the borough. Although it is required by the water department, Connely noted that the borough did purchase an upgraded package for the borough, which will allow them to share any kind of emergency information with all residences within the borough.
The borough also voted to outsource its payroll to ADP Payroll, a project that borough secretary/treasurer Georgia Depos Dewire has been working on for the last year.
"During the last year, we've met with various payroll companies," she said. "ADP is one of the largest providers of business outsourcing in the United States."
Although the service will cost the borough approximately $300 a month, the borough will still see a cost savings of about $2,300 in materials alone, not to mention the time that will be saved by borough employees who previously handled payroll. Depos Dewire also outlined several benefits to borough workers, who will now be able to receive direct deposit and access their paycheck stubs and W2 forms online for up to three years.
The new system will require employees to log in on a computer when they come in to and leave work.
"This takes away from everyone handwriting everything. It's a good way of tracking things," said Councilman Tom Cara.
Cara also noted that the seasonal employees at the pool will be able to participate in the system by logging in over the telephone.
The borough approved the following reappointments: Jack Kulp, Tamaqua Borough Authority for another five-year term; John Tracy, Tamaqua Water Authority, another five-year term; Richard Clemson, Zoning Hearing Board, another five-year term; Mark Conville, Planning Commission, another four-year term. Additionally Thomas S. Starry was appointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee.
Council President Micah Gursky noted that there is still one opening on the Citizens Advisory Committee and asked any interested citizens to submit their names for consideration.
The borough approved a request from Linda Yulanavage, executive director of the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Manager, for the annual Santa Claus parade, to be held on Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m.
Council approved a handicap parking space for 214 N. Greenwood St., and three certificates of appropriateness, as recommended by the HARC committee.
Council also appointed Karl Smulligan to head a committee to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Tamaqua Armory, which now serves as borough hall. The anniversary will be in 2011.
Council approved an agreement for engineer inspection services in the amount of $24,905 and an engineering proposal in the amount of $13,300 for the Hometown Streets project. They also approved a temporary construction easement with Schuylkill County for the Greenwood Street bridge project. This project is slated to be done next spring and will involve closing the bridge, which will be redecked.
Council also heard from several residents, including Linda Miller, who had previously questioned the removal of storm drains along Columbia Street. The removal of the drains had happened several years ago and residents in the area recently asked for them to be put back in. Miller distributed photos of the area during a rainstorm to council. Pat Stefanek also asked that the remainder of the political signs that were put up in the borough during the election be removed. Stefanek also added that although the borough parking meters are labeled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., that it is ridiculous for the meter attendant to be walking the meters at 5:30. in the dark.
"I think it's in poor taste when people are pulling in from work at 5:30 and getting hit," she said. "I think from 9-5 is a reasonable time."
The matter was referred to the parking and traffic committee.
Council also held an executive session to discuss personnel matters.