Tamaqua Borough Council approved requests for six handicap parking spaces at last night's meeting. The handicap parking space program has been on hold for the past several months pending a revision of the borough's policy.

Spaces were granted at the following addresses: 216 Center St., 122 N. Greenwood St., 231 Orwigsburg St., 251 Clay St., 402 Hazle St., and 115 Gay St. A request to move an existing handicap space from 200 Pine St. to the side of the same property, along Biddle St., was also approved.

Council discussed the proposed reduction of the speed limit along Rolling Mill Avenue as well. However, council members felt that such a reduction would not be feasible. "We've put up stop signs, children at play signs," said parking and traffic chairman Steve Tertel, "We feel that we've already addressed that situation." Tertel also recommended that children utilize the playground that is located in the area.

The Bungalow Pool is scheduled to open on June 4. David Mace, chairman of the recreation and youth committee, made several motions regarding the pool.

The daily and seasonal pass rates will remain the same as they were last year, with seasonal passes being $10 for individuals who live within the Tamaqua School District and $50 for individuals who reside elsewhere. The daily rates will be $5 per person, Monday thru Friday, $6 per person, Saturday thru Sunday, and $1 for anyone under six years of age for residents. Non-residents will pay $10 per person, Monday thru Friday, $12 per person Saturday through Sunday, and $1 for anyone under six years of age. Pass applications will be available at the Borough Hall immediately and throughout the community shortly.

Kyle Smith was hired as the pool manager at a rate of $12 per hour. Adrian Bumbulsky was hired as the assistant pool manager at a rate of $10 per hour. Chelsea Jones was hired as the assistant pool manager, as needed, at a rate of $10 per hour.

Council also approved a three year lease agreement with James Fulmer and Morgan Jones for the operation of the pool concession stand.

Borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt noted that pool backwash tank project is ready to go and construction should begin shortly.

Council voted to advertise for a 2009 or 2010, six or eight cylinder automatic, Dodge Charger police package vehicle.

Steigerwalt provided council with an update on the wildcat sewer inspections. "The company, A1, has completed the inspections," he said. "They are reviewing the results with Alfred Benesch (the borough's engineer) and having a dialog about whether they need more dye testing. We will share it when we get it." Steigerwalt said that the testing along the Wabash Creek was completed earlier than expected and the inspectors were also sent along the Panther Creek.

South Ward Neighborhood committee chair Kathy Kunkel provided an update to council members on the work being done in the South Ward, where work is being done on the playground and community center. Kunkel said that the work should be completed in time to have a ribbon cutting on May 23 and a grand re-opening celebration over the Memorial Day weekend.

Council approved resolutions authorizing the filing of applications for funding from DCED for an Elm Street residential reinvestment grand and an Elm Street operational grant. Kunkel said the reinvestment grant could be around $150,000 and would be used for improvements to the Spruce and Hunter Street parking lot.

Council received a letter from the East End Fire Company, advising that Michael Angelo is their new fire chief, effective March 10. Council also approved removing the house siren at the East End Fire Company.

Council recognized several Tamaqua High School athletes for their achievements during the winter sports season, including Garth Lakistky, PIAA Class AA state wrestling champion, Dane DeWire, PIAA District Class AA diving champion and District XI most outstanding diver, and the Tamaqua Area girls' basketball team, PIAA District XI Class AAA girls' basketball champion. Members of the girls' basketball team were present to accept their certificates.

Council held a moment of silence to remember Joseph Plasko, who was a vital member of the Tamaqua community and covered the Tamaqua Borough meetings for the TIMES NEWS for many years.