The Department of Labor & Industry has recognized the borough of Tamaqua's employee safety committee with certification. Councilman Brian Connely made the announcement at last night's regular council meeting.
The committee, which was created about a year ago with the help of the borough's insurance provider to review safe work practices and identify hazards in all borough departments, not only provides a safe work environment for borough employees, but will also save the borough approximately $9,000 on their insurance premiums this year.
"Every department is part of that committee and attends the meetings," said Connely. "It's a real pat on the back to the borough and to those on the safety committee," he added. Council President Micah Gursky called the situation a win/win for the borough and the employees.
"We have about 50 employees, including the police, the street department, the office personnel, and everyone participates. This makes a safer workplace for them," he said.
In other business, council narrowly approved the placement of stop signs at the intersections of Rolling Mill Avenue and Vine Street and Rolling Mill Avenue and Elm Street. Council also approved the establishment of a 25 mph speed limit on Rolling Mill Avenue. The changes were proposed after several residents of the street came to a meeting earlier this year to request something be done about the increased traffic and speeding along the street.
Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt asked if the stop signs at Elm and Rolling Mill might be excessive, as they would be placed between two intersections with stop lights. Elm Street resident Nick Smith echoed Steigerwalt's concerns, particularly during the hours before and after school, when a stopped school bus could cause traffic to back up in either direction. Council approved the installation of the stop signs by a 4-3 vote.
Council approved the deed, agreement of sale, settlement statement and related documents to convey a right-of-way to the commonwealth for the Center Street Bridge Project. The area included in the agreement is the location of the "Welcome To Tamaqua" sign at the south entrance to town.
Council approved two change orders to the police camera project, including the installation of a camera on the top of the Tamaqua Hi-rise and at Boyer's Market, at a cost of $10,070 and $18,080, respectively. Connely questioned if these two changes should really be a part of the first phase of the project and council had a lengthy discussion about the camera project.
"Wouldn't that money be put to better use trying to expand the system that is in place at the intersections," said Connely. It was noted that although the camera feed will not be monitored continuously, it will be captured and authorities will have the ability to review the tapes in the instance of a crime being committed. Mayor Christian Morrison said that the camera on the hi-rise in particular will be able to move and turn and capture a large amount of the activity along Broad Street.
Council accepted the resignations of two members of the Bungalow Pool Commission, Mary Gurcsik and Helen Walters. Recreation and youth Committee Chairman David Mace said that the commission is looking for new volunteers and anyone who is interested in serving on it should contact the borough or submit a letter of interest.
The borough has received the disbursement for the Riverwalk Project. Steigerwalt said that they will begin looking for bids for the project this winter and hopefully start the project next spring.
Council approved the request to hold the annual Halloween Parade on Oct. 26, with a rain date of Oct. 27. Morrison also announced that Tamaqua's Trick or Treat night will be Sunday, Oct. 31, from 6-8 p.m.
The mayor also issued two proclamations, the first declaring Oct. 3-9 as Fire Prevention Week; and the second, recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The mayor asked residents to wear pink and decorate their homes and cars with pink during the month to show their support for the defeat of this deadly disease.
Cub Scout Pack 777 attended Tuesday night's meeting to meet the requirements for their citizenship badges.