Lansford Borough Council on Wednesday took a step forward in considering the possibility of selling the water system it owns with Coaldale and part of Nesquehoning.
Mayor Ron Hood at a special meeting broke a tie vote to move the borough to meet with representatives of two water companies that have expressed interest in buying the water system.
"There's nothing wrong with sitting down and talking with these companies," Hood said.
The six council members attending a March 10 public meeting deadlocked on whether to meet with Aqua Pennsylvania of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, a subsidiary of Aqua America Inc., and Pennsylvania American Water, based in Mechanicsburg. Both companies have expressed an interest in buying the water system.
Council members Tommy Vadyak, Andrew Snyder and President Adam Webber favored meeting with the representatives, while Rose Mary Cannon, Mary Kruczek and Danielle Smith were opposed.
Councilman Lenny Kovach's absence resulted in the tie.
Coaldale council earlier indicated it would follow Lansford's lead in the matter.
In an emailed message sent to the TIMES NEWS after the meeting, Webber said that "it is my personal belief that before any action is even discussed that all of the facts need to be addressed. A council that takes action without all of the facts is one that is not serving its citizens. Both boroughs have to agree with this meeting. After tonight the Borough of Coaldale will have to make the same vote in order for a meeting to take place. It is my opinion that with population growing around the world and environmental contamination happening all around us that a pure source of drinking water is as important and valuable as the air that I breathe. As a borough elected official, I feel that I owe it to the citizens of Lansford to find out all of the facts and have their opinion's heard before casting a solid vote."
The water system is now operated by the Lansford-Coaldale Joint Water Authority, which would also be invited to attend the meeting. A date has yet to be scheduled.
In other matters Wednesday, council adopted a resolution to take out a $150,000 tax anticipation loan from M&T Bank at a rate of 2.99 percent.
Council also agreed to allow the Panther Valley Public Library to close off part of the 100 block of East Bertsch Street, from Walnut to Springgarden Street, for three hours on April 9 for an Easter egg hunt.
Council also agreed to pay the Comprehensive Plan Management bill, which had also deadlocked.
Hood broke that tie, too, saying that the borough had agreed to participate in the planning, and so needs to pay its share of the costs.