Members of Parryville Council tackled the three big budget items that face every community head on Tuesday night when they discussed municipal sewer service, approved a three year solid waste contract and road projects.
President Mike Grant said that he has gone over the records of what past councils did and he said that they hated to spend money and tried to fix things well beyond it being cost effective.
"I believe in making a big investment and then you don't have to use a lot of manpower fixing things and having a pile of junk," said Grant.
Grant said that Parryville has some funds set aside for the new sewer system and council will likely have to raise taxes by one mill, which will help recoup some of the engineering costs to comply with Act 537, a community-wide sewage facilities plan.
In Parryville, one mill generates approximately $9,000 in revenue.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered communities to adopt an official plan to provide sewage services for areas within its jurisdiction in 1968. Grant said that he went through the records and saw that the borough paid a lot of money in the past for studies for roads and the sewer system and then never followed through with projects.
Barry Issett, engineer, with Barry Issett Associates, Trexlertown, Issett, as Parryville's representative, has met with DEP, the first step in the task of complying with the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan. Issett said he is developing a task activity report.
He did note that DEP's requirements are not as stringent as they had been in the 1970s because of today's economy.
Grant said that by phasing the project, it will also spread out the costs.
Last month Issett said that the final plan version should be developed by mid July 2012.
Council also opened bids for garbage collection. After Attorney Michael Greek reviewed the bids and noted that each of the three companies had provided one, two and three year contracts, Greek recommended that members should focus on three year contracts. After noting the bids, council voted to award the contract to Interstate Waste Service (McAuliffe) at a cost of $106,339. Other bidders were Tamaqua Transfer, $108,129 and Waste Management, $133,988.
Issett also discussed the salt shed. Issett presented preliminary plans for the 28 by 32-foot cement and wood structure. There will be a six foot wall to contain the salt.
Grant said that he ordered 100 tons of road salt and that the borough must take at least 60 percent of the order. He said that in the past the borough spent $2,200 to $2,400 for two small truckloads and that he contracted to pay $58 a ton.
"It's more economical to purchase in bulk," said Grant. ""We will be using a mixture of salt and cinders in most applications."
As far as the roads are going, Grant said that very little road work will be completed in the borough until the sewer project is completed.
"We're not going to spend money on roads and then have our new roads get dug up during the sewer project," he added.
Council member Jennifer Borger questioned whether council could reactivate the Christmas House Lighting contest.
Grant advised Borger to see if local businesses would provide prizes since the borough cannot use tax money for the project.
Borger said she will give a report at the next meeting.