There was standing room only at the Slatington Borough Council meeting last night.
The primary issues were flooding in many residential basements, residents defending borough members who were marred on the website, www.improveslatington.com, and landlords who were disgruntled over the latest water rate controversy.
Several residents approached the board about flooding that occurred during the last rainstorm. One resident said it took 10 hours to bail the water out of his basement. He was distressed that the backup water appeared to be sewage, and said, "It's an EPA issue now."
Council president Galen Freed said that a lot of people were complaining.
He said, "We need to remember that we had five inches of rain, which is more than usual."
Freed added the borough has done all they can do on the public side.
"We took care of the pipes," he said. "The borough completed the repairs and fixed the problem."
Freed said the water that is causing the flooding is coming through private pipes.
The resident persisted in asking the board, "who was going to fix the problem?"
Councilwoman Kris Burek told him to contact the Board of Health and have the situation documented. She also invited the resident to attend a sewer and water authority meeting in order to find a solution.
Another resident said he had two feet of water in his basement. When Freed queried the audience and asked how many people were there for the same reason, at least a half dozen people raised their hands.
Christy Haydt, who owns a business in Slatington, but lives in Walnutport, spoke to the council about his displeasure with the website, www.improveslatington.com, which discredits many of the council members through the use of distorting videos and focusing on unpopular board decisions.
Because the website authors do not identify themselves, Haydt said they show, "no character." Haydt also defended several of the council members who were attacked and then asked Burek if the website was created by her. She said "no," and went as far as to say she would swear on a Bible to that fact.
Haydt ended his statement by saying this type of slander has to stop.
"Instead of spreading garbage (the site developers) should go along the trail and pick it up."
In other business, a resident who owns a business in Slatington, and is also a landlord, told the council they were too tough on landlords. He said by the time he pays all of the bills, such as water and sewer, there is nothing left.
Burek told him being a landlord is a business and should be billed for water accordingly.
He said that people think landlords are getting rich, but they are just paying bills. He added if being a landlord was so profitable in Slatington, she should buy his building.
Burek then asked him why he moved to Slatington and he said he bought the property 30 years ago.
"People buy things for different reasons," he said.
Burek said there are over 1,000 apartments in Slatington that are not paying their fair share of the water bills.
Councilman Stevens said according to the records, the figure she quotes is "ludicrous."
According to his research, there are only 605 apartments. His figure was backed up by the recording secretary.
In other business, Mayor Niedermeyer said residents will be seeing vans moving around the neighborhood with cameras on the roof. They are assessing the properties.
The borough also put out a bid for fuel oil but only received one bid. After some discussion the council voted to accept the bid.'
Mel Gildnar was interviewed by the board to be reappointed to the zoning board. After an in-depth interview by several of the council members, the board voted and decided not to reappoint him.