The newest member of the West Penn Township Board of Supervisors, James G. Dean, was sworn in Tuesday afternoon by District Magistrate Stephen Bayer. The ceremony took place at the township municipal building and Dean attended his first meeting as a supervisor later that evening.
Due to the election defeat of David Zeigler, vice chairman, board members needed to fill that position. They appointed James Akins, a former supervisor who was returned to the board in the last election.
Chairman Alfonso Martinez noted that none of the supervisors serving on the board were born or raised in the township, which is a first in West Penn history.
During the business meeting, a 2-1 vote approved a three-year lease in the amount of $34,982.58 for a 2012 Ford F-250 with a crew cab and a 9-foot western power angle plow. Supervisor James G. Dean voted against leasing the truck because an extended cab of the same make is available for $3,000 less.
"I'm just not sure we need to have a crew cab," he said.
Road crew leader Jeremy Frable argued, however, that the purchase of a truck with a crew cab was necessary because the men he works with have difficulty fitting in the back of the extended cab the township has now.
"I can't sit in the back of it," Frable said.
"I don't see guys being in it that long," Dean said, "and that's a little bit bigger of a cost. When I see $3,000, I see that as being a lot of money."
Also approved at the meeting was a $58,630.48 bid for the hurricane damage restoration that will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The compensation is for what has been fixed in West Penn Park East, but like many other municipalities, it is on an apparently long list to receive reimbursement.
The sewer committee's meeting with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Dec. 13 was discussed. At that meeting it was determined what must be done before the new individual-needs analysis a door-to-door survey to assess how many homes require new waste systems is conducted for the Act 537 plan.
Both Walker and West Penn townships continuously reject the DEP mandated changes to replace sewage facilities in 306 residences between the two areas because of a $104-a-month sewage bill the residents would then have to pay.
After the new analysis is conducted, Rettew will have a new projected cost for the project, and by next month's meeting, township engineer Ronald B. Madison, PE, said there should be a task activity report to show the new scope of work to the board.
The next West Penn board of supervisors meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.