Tamaqua Borough Council denied two requests for designated parking areas from two downtown businesses at last night's regular meeting.

The first request had been submitted by Wachovia Bank. Wachovia had requested that they be granted additional permit parking spaces along Berwick Street, where there are currently metered spaces, and in the Tamaqua Train Station parking lot, which is adjacent to the rear of their own parking lot.

The second request came from Dino Ciccozzi, who requested a 15 minute parking area and/or a loading zone at the property at 407-409 East Broad Street. The property currently houses a beer distributor.

In other parking and traffic matters, council approved a handicap parking space for 271 Van Gelder Street and the installation of an "autistic child area" sign in the 200 block of Rowe Street. They also moved to paint no parking lines along the property at 221 Greet Street, along South Street. This came after the owner of the property advised council that his building is along the street and has sustained damage due to cars parking along side it. It was also noted that the no parking designation will be beneficial for the operation of the borough's snowplow.

Corporal Dwayne Hacker, of the Tamaqua Police Department, also submitted a letter to council advising them that the date for the DARE challenge is Saturday, March 6, and the date for DARE graduation is April 29. Councilman Ken Smulligan asked if the borough was receiving funding for the DARE program. Mayor Christian Morrison advised that the funding for the program had, in fact, dried up, but the police department is doing their best to keep it going. "The staff has been working that within their shifts," he said. "We've talked about several ways of continuing the program and ways to keep the costs down. This was what seemed to work the best for them."

Council president Micah Gursky stated that the Borough Hall and Zion Lutheran Church will not be used as precincts in the upcoming primary election. "We'll have to stay tuned to see where everyone is voting," he said.

Council adopted a resolution authorizing the submission of an application for funding for an Elm Street Operational Grant. According to Kathy Kunkel, the Elm Street manager, this funding would extend the original three year grant for another two years and would cover operating and administrational expenses for the program. Council approved the HARC recommendation for a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed apartment building at 420 East Broad St. Council also voted to send a letter of support to the Alliance for Building Communities, the developer who is coordinating the project.

In personnel matters, council met for an executive session. They also approved a job description for the housing rehabilitation officer. Borough Manager Kevin Steigerwalt stated that the borough has received 5 RFPs from electrical contractors. This request was made due to the fact that Allen Breiner, a 35 year borough employee, and electrician, was retiring. Breiner, who has also served as the borough's code enforcement and zoning officer, was honored at last night's meeting.

"We wanted you to hear from this council how much we appreciate the work that you've done," said Gursky, to Breiner. "Thank you on behalf of council and the community." Breiner was also presented with a certificate of appreciation.

Councilman Steve Tertel said that applications are being made available for the positions at the Bungalow pool. "We're trying to save on advertising costs," he noted. "We're contacting people who have been employed before and taking applications to the school." Council also approved the preparation of an RFP for the operation of the concession stand at the pool.

Councilman Tom Cara reminded citizens that there is a free income tax preparation service being offered by the Schuylkill Community Action group at the LCCC campus on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm. There are eligibility requirements. For more information, call (570)622-1995.