Lansford borough council on Wednesday awarded a five-year, $1,520,150 trash collection contract to Tamaqua Transfer.
The company was the lowest of three bidders, the other two being Solid Waste Services (J.P. Mascaro), and Interstate Waste Services. Solid Waste Services bid $1,967,820; Interstate bid $1,608,709.20.
This was the second round of bids. The first bids were scrapped after one company submitted a bid that generated confusion over how it was to be calculated.
Currently, residents pay $55 per quarter for trash pickup. The impact of the new contract was unclear as of late Wednesday.
In other matters, Councilman Tommy Vadyak moved to temporarily close the code enforcement/zoning office to save money for the cash-strapped borough. His motion followed council's agreement to pay routine bills "as money becomes available."
Council decided to table the matter at the request of councilwoman Danielle Smith. She said she didn't disagree with the move, but wanted to do more research before making a decision.
Vadyak also publicly thanked the police department for handling three code violations, including arranging to have a loose roof vent removed from the former Panther Valley middle school on Bertsch Street. Officials were worried the vent would be carried off the roof by recent high winds and hit people or property. The building is owned by former council president Adam Webber.
In other matters, resident Rita Klekamp asked council what improvements have been made since Webber's resignation.
Secretary-treasurer Beth Seymour said that she has spent much time getting the borough's finances into some semblance of order.
Klekamp also questioned the amount of money council has spent more than $12,000, according to Vadyak on negotiating a new contract for Police Chief John Turcmanovich, who had asked for a $1,500 raise.
The contract has yet to be settled, and council president Rose Mary Cannon said Webber had racked up bills by turning to the Allentown lawyer hired to guide the negotiations for several other matters, including many that had been resolved by the borough.
Vadyak said that council was unaware of Webber's actions until the bills began rolling in. cannon said steps have been taken to recoup the money, but that it will take time.
He also asked how council intends to repay the $155,000 borrowed from the sewer transmission fund to pay general bills. Cannon acknowledged the need for repayment, but that council would have to determine the best way to go about it.
Also on Wednesday, Councilman Lenny Kovatch said an inlet collapsed at Chestnut Street and Kline Avenue, and caused two sidewalk slabs to drop. he's working on the least expensive way to repair the problem, he said.