Tamaqua Borough Council approved a proposal from A One Service, Inc. of Shenandoah, last night for the exploration and location of wildcat sewers along the Wabash Creek. The borough's engineering firm, Alfred Benesch, recommended the firm due to the fact that this company utilizes a piece of equipment consisting of a robot camera and a transmitter that can be detected from the surface. "This will eliminate excessive dye testing," said borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt. "They can look for multiple connections and they can trace them right to a source."
The firm charges approximately $2,500 for an eight hour day. Steigerwalt said the process is anticipated to take approximately four days. "We have identified about 36 suspect pipes. This will be a very direct way of identifying where those pipes originate," said council president Micah Gursky. "The other alternative would have been much more expensive to test every building in the area of each pipe." Steigerwalt added that there may be a need for some dye testing if they have a questionable results between two buildings. The project does not yet have a start date.
In other business, Steigerwalt said that the borough will be rebidding cold patch, as they did not receive any bids for it in their initial request for the 2011 road materials. That bid will be opened on February 10th, along with bids for the sewer plant improvements. Bids for the proposed riverwalk project will be opened on February 23rd.
The parking and traffic committee approved an ordinance establishing stop intersections on Hamilton and High streets. They also put a review of the borough's handicap parking permit process on hold, pending several recommendations from the borough's solicitor. Council hopes to vote on the new process before the end of the month.
At the request of resident James Daderko, council will send a letter to the Tamaqua School District and LCCC regarding students parking in the neighborhood surrounding both the high school and college campuses. Daderko said that parking in the area around the schools is already limited and due to the piles of snow that have accumulated through the winter, the situation has reached a "breaking point." Chairman of the parking and traffic committee said that as long as the cars are legally parked, there is not much that council can do. "All we can do is appeal to their sense of judgment," stated Gursky. However, fire chief Tom Hartz, Jr. said that several times cars had been parked in front of fire hydrants and too close to corners. Tertel said that cars that are not legally parked will be ticketed or possibly towed.
Mayor Christian Morrison announced that there will be a regional police force study meeting next Thursday, Feb. 10, at 4pm. The peer consultant from Stroud Regional police force will be available. The communities involved will need to sign an article of agreement to participate in the study. Morrison said representatives from Schuylkill, Walker, and West Penn townships will be there, as well as from the borough of Coaldale.
Council held an executive session to discuss personnel and legal matters.