Spring has sprung in Tamaqua and a variety of construction projects are underway in the borough. At last night's regular council meeting, borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt announced that the playground project that was slated for the Owl Creek area has already been completed.
"The community park association has some other improvements planned for the area," he added, "Everyone is pleased with how this has turned out." Steigerwalt said that the Carriage Street stairs project and the Hometown Streets project, which will continue the original Streetscape project for another block along East Broad Street, to Greenwood Street, both started this week.
Steigerwalt was pleased to add that the borough has received an additional $13,000 in CDBG funding this year. "This year's appropriation is in the amount of $146,289," he said. The second hearing for the CDBG funding will be held at 7 p.m. prior to the May 18th regular council meeting.
Steigerwalt advised council that a portion of the retaining wall along the borough's Pleasant Row has collapsed. "To fix it properly could take the better part of a week, and we would have to close the street," he said. "That would give the people and the business on that street no access. We're looking to provide alternative access, maybe through the train station property. We're not sure we can do the work during the day and have access after hours safely." Borough staff will continue to determine how best to complete that project.
Police committee chairman Ken Smulligan announced that there will be a guest speaker from the Department of Community Services coming to address borough officials about a regional police force. "We'd like to get the word out to all of the boroughs, municipalities, and police officials within about 20 miles of Tamaqua," said Smulligan. The speaker has been arranged for through Rep. Jerry Knowles' office and will be speaking at the Tamaqua Community Center on April 27th at 6:30 p.m. Anyone who is interested in attending should RSVP to the borough hall as soon as possible. "We'd just like to get a rough idea of how many will be attending," said Smulligan.
Council hired the following as clerks for the 2010 pool season; Sandra Coombe, Justin Huegel, Beth Fritzinger-Jones, Gabrielle Lech, Ryan Miorelli, Janan Shafer, and Michael Taylor.
The following were hired as lifeguards: Jessica Bealer, Adrian Bumbulsky, Emily Bumbulsky, Brandon Clemson, Richard Clemson, Samantha Digilio, Molly Frederick, Michael Gurcsik, Eden Helfrich, Eric James, Chelsea Jones, Brianna Kunkel, Mallory Loughman, Abigail Markovich, Jordan Nowacki, Schuyler Schmidt, Devin Smith, Rachael Tertel, Christi Truskey, Benjamin Tuckett, Aleida VanBuren, and Shellie Witcofsky.
Council also approved the purchase of a new aluminum diving board to replace a board that was broken last year, at a price of $3,070.
Council agreed to purchase a commemorative brick for the Schuylkill County bicentennial at a cost of $100. The brick will read "Borough of Tamaqua."
Mayor Christian Morrison reminded everyone that there will be a DARE fundraiser this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Trinity Church. Half of the proceeds from a free will offering will go to the DARE program, which lost its state funding this year.
Borough secretary Georgia Depos Dewire read correspondence from the Bethany E.C. church regarding the National Day of Prayer, which will be held on Thursday, May 6th. A group from the church will gather in front of borough hall at noon on that day in observance of the event. Other churches and elected officials have been invited to the event.
Depos also received a letter from the "National Children's Study" informing the borough that it has been selected to participate in the study, which will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of children. The study is recruiting women who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant and will follow them through the pregnancy and then follow the children for 21 years. Lynn Appleby, RN LSW, CAC is the community liaison and will be providing more information on the program in the future.
Council held an executive session to discuss real estate matters.