Jim Preston, Bowmanstown solicitor, gave his opinion of an ordinance drafted by the Community Environment Legal Defense Fund concerning municipal waste in the borough at this week's meeting of borough council.
Preston said he has researched legal opinions and his opinion has not changed much. He finds it may be unconstitutional because it denies corporate power.
"At one time I said it would cause no harm and that is still the case," said Preston, but he thought it could open the borough to future claims.
There is a state-provided borough code that all boroughs are expected to follow and it cannot disrespect corporate protections.
Other municipalities that have passed a bill such as the one proposed did so over the objections of their solicitors, he said.
Chairman Burdell Steigerwalt asked for a motion. There was none so it became a dead issue.
The zoning appeal with Duane Schleicher is scheduled to be heard by Judge Roger Nanovic on Oct. 14, 1 p.m. It is an argument, which means no more evidence will be submitted beyond the briefs that have been filed.
Livengood Excavating asked if it could dump dirt on the same Bowmanstown-owned East Penn site being used by the turnpike commission. The material he plans to dump would be from the Mahoning Township Walmart.
Walsh Engineering for the turnpike has permits to dump at the location. Since Livengood does not have permits he received a "no" answer. The material has to be certified as clean, said engineer Ted Stevenson.
Stevenson said the types of pumps used in the sewer treatment plant are no longer available. The equivalent will cost $10,381 for each of three pumps, the cost to be paid by East Penn Township.
Complaints were received about the sidewalk alongside the borough building. Councilman William Ravert said it should be turned over to the property committee for input.
Rep. Keith McCall said there are Home Depot grants for which the borough is eligible. He wrote a letter on behalf of Lawane Hahn, 643 Fireline Road, regarding water and wastewater overflowing on the Hahn property.
Ten calls were reported by the Bowmanstown Fire Company for July and eight for August.
On behalf of the fire company councilman Ernie Guldner thanked the borough for letting it use a garage for the firetrucks while work was being done on the fire company floors.
Since Craig Street residents receive services from Bowmanstown, the borough is allowed to assess them for things like water, sewer, street lighting and fire hydrants. Mayor Keith Billig thought if the borough is allowed to assess them, it should do so.
Preston said if they have road frontage on Craig Street the borough has the right, but he will research it.
Billig asked how many years they could go back with the assessments. That will be part of Preston's research.
The borough office will be closed Nov. 6. Tara Takerer had requested the day off and at the meeting Tracy Burbage, secretary, requested emergency leave for the same day.
The borough received $2,205 from the municipal pension system, $242 from the tax claim bureau, $607 from transfer tax and $10 for violations.
A wall at the municipal building playground needs repair before winter, said Steigerwalt. It is cracked.
The borough was asked how to do the curbing and no one could provide the information. In response to such a request the engineer will stake out the site and provide information.
A dogs-at-large citation was issued. The person was found guilty and fined $100 and court costs.
Ravert said complaint forms are not public information unless they provide evidence at a trial as they were when it was proof that the complaint was longstanding.
Council member Pam Leiby said that is why the elderly do not want to file a written complaint. Councilman Chad Everett said it is absurd if ordinances are enforced only when there is a written complaint.
There have been complaints about trash at the Jeff Strohl property for seven years. "It was a dump and still is," said Leiby. "It's not fair to have people live next to that."
She made a motion that the law committee should review the complaint policy and continue as is until the review is complete.