A Coaldale resident at a public meeting Tuesday shared with council his detailed research into problems with the storm water/sewer system in the Seek section of the borough.
Kevin Barlett of 134 Greenwood Street, distributed packets of photos, maps and correspondence to each council member to support his research into problems with the storm drainage system in that area. The system, he said, is clogged by material from the BET Real Estate LLC (Formerly Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.) mining operation across Route 209 from his home. Further, he said, a nearby creek is also becoming filled with sediment.
"You've done your homework," Councilman Joe Hnat said.
"I've complained before, but nothing was done," Barlett said. Councilman Andrew Girard said he recalled Barlett coming before council two years ago. Barlett has been in touch with the state Department of Environmental Protection about the problem, but has gotten no satisfaction.
Council President Susan Solt said council will need time to study the information from Barlett.
Council was also surprised to learn from Barlett that the mining company has built a truck wash on borough land at the top of the No. 11 Hill. Mayor Richard Corkery said the borough likely does own 10 acres at the top of the hill, which is where trucks exit the mining operation.
Council and Corkery agreed that the company should be paying rent to the borough, and council authorized solicitor Michael Greek to research the details of ownership of the parcel.
Barlett also told council that Radocha Excavating has been dumping trash on an 8.8 acre borough parcel between First and Third streets. Barlett said that the borough may be subject to fines stemming from the illegal dump.
In other matters, while April showers may bring May flowers, but for at least one Coaldale resident, they also brought more than $5,000 in damages from a flooded basement.
Amy Kondertavage, of 101 W. Water Street, told council water backed up from the borough system into her basement, breaking the pipe and flooding it two-and-a-half feet deep. The water destroyed the oil burner. She also had to power wash and bleach the basement floor and walls.
Greek said that because the borough maintains the pipes, Kondertavage should submit the bill for the damages to the borough's insurance carrier.
The heavy rains also flooded borough Supervisor Kenneth Hankey's office in the borough garage. The insurance carrier, however, rejected the claim for damages for that, council members said.
Hankey said the flooding at the Kondertavage's occurred because the creek was swollen beyond capacity, forcing storm water back into the system.
In a related matter, Greenwood Street resident Becky Nicholas told council that her street was so flooded during the storm that people could not drive on it.