I am a Lansford Borough Councilman. About two years ago I was on Air Your Opinion about the Sewer Transmission Fund, a Lansford official said my claim was bogus. The $90 a year fee brings in about $185,000 a year and $315,000 a year in expenses. They used CDBG money and loan interest to make this solvent, no cuts. Now the loan money is spent so this year there is a $90,000 plus shortfall. In my opinion the sewer transmission fund is the downfall of Lansford. It started on Cortright Street, a contractor hired per hour and brought in on July 4th, things changed that should not have been; bill ran into hundreds of thousands.
On the present budget, a 3.08 tax increase, but with $300,000 plus in outstanding bills. How can this be a balanced budget? In 2009 we received a $50,000 grant for Demolition. This is to be placed in a separate account, when I asked why bills for demolition are not coming out of this fund the Secretary-Treasurer said she would give me a rebuttal. Why a rebuttal? During budget talks there is a line item Demo Fund $50,000. I questioned again why aren't bills for demolition coming out of this fund? The money was transfered to the General Fund. THIS IS ILLEGAL. At the last budget talks I sat back and listened no sense in arguing. Talk of taking money out of sewage transmission fund (ordinance against this), sanitation fund (separate fund now bill is owed for Dec.) CDBG money-grant, money ear marked for one purpose.
Getting back to the Demolition Fund. We bid the job in Nov. I thought the money was there. At the meeting there were four bidders with everything in order. A motion was made and seconded to award to the third highest bidder, I questioned the former Solicitor, he said supposed to go to the lowest bidder, they acted like he didn't say a word and awarded the bid. One councilman works for this contractor, he voted yes (a conflict of interest). The former solicitor told this councilman numerous times about voting. They never took the solicitor's advice.
I keep questioning why we were not informed about the bills. At the budget approval meeting I was given two sets of bills one was made up at 5:48 p.m. and the other made up at 6:11 p.m. - one is $313,900 and the other is $275,000 plus $50,000 grant has to be put back.
At the December meeting I made a motion to send a letter to the county to put all KOZ zones back on the tax rolls to get more tax money.The vote- 2 yes-5 obstain.
These are the same council people that I tried to explain about the water authority, the stipend set by the borough is $25 a month, the water authority board members receive $187 a month, only council can change this.
I also believe the state should come in and run the borough office.
I want to thank Solicitor Yurchak for his hard work and dedication.
I also want to thank all the residents of Lansford who stand behind me and offer their support.
Tommy J. Vadyak
Lansford Borough Councilman