Tamaqua Borough Council awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders for the South Ward Community Center and playground project at last night's meeting. Kobalt Construction was awarded the general contracting bid at $318,000. Spotts Brothers was awarded the plumbing contract at $26,450. L&S Construction was awarded the electrical contract at $33,445. Chilewski Enterprises was awarded the HVAC contract at $17,900.

In addition to approving the bids, council also approved a modification to the 2010 community development block grant to include $45,000 for the completion of the community center and playground. Council also voted to approve an additional $10,000 from the CDBG funds for demolition.

Council also received an update from Ken Dunkelberger, the technical consultant for the borough's police camera installation project. "It's going extremely smoothly," said Dunkelberger, of the first phase of the project. "Once the first installations are complete, there will be about 40-50 percent coverage of the town," he said. The first phase of the project includes building the network and infrastructure to support the system, which will be headquartered at Borough Hall. Cameras will also be installed at the southern entrance to town, along route 309, behind Boyer's Market, in the vicinity of Willing Park, on top of the Tamaqua Hi-rise, on Borough Hall, and at the 5 Points intersection.

In other business, council denied a request from All-State Insurance to place a business only parking space on High Street. They approved a request to have senior citizens use the community center on the first and third Tuesday of the month to socialize and interact. The program will start on a trial basis.

Council denied a certificate of appropriateness for a window replacement at 314 Lafayette Street. They approved a certificate of appropriateness for an externally-lit sign at the Christopher Columbus Club, 101 Schuylkill Avenue.

Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt updated council on the Pleasant Row wall replacement project, which started on Monday. According to Steigerwalt, the railroad police showed up at the site late Tuesday afternoon and the project had to be shut down. "They were upset that we didn't submit the necessary paperwork for entry onto their property," he explained. "I was equally upset that no one from the railroad would talk to me for the last three weeks." Steigerwalt added that after a discussion with the railroad and the submission of the paperwork, he was notified by the end of the day that the work could resume. The work is expected to continue on Thursday. Steigerwalt also announced that the streetscape project has been completed, with the exception of "a few nuts and bolts."

Council approved the purchase of 5 radios and a charging station for use by the Tamaqua Fire Department on the aerial truck. The radios cost approximately $350 each. Funds from the equipment fund will be used for the purchase.

Councilman Brian Connely, the chairman of the public safety committee, announced that the fire department will be moving to participate in a business self-inspection program. Assistant fire chief Tom Hartz added that he hopes that businesses will participate in the program, which could help to eliminate physical inspections in the future. Council also approved the advertising of an ordinance that will amend the minimum qualifications for fire chiefs. Connely explained that these are nationally recognized certification levels and that all of the Tamaqua fire chiefs currently exceed these standards.

Council also heard from Owl Creek resident Joe Salla, who expressed concerns about speeding along Owl Creek Road and the washout of a sewer access road that is adjacent to his property.

Council held an executive session to discuss personnel matters.