In a task akin to trying to read a road map in a darkened room, Lansford Borough Council members on Thursday again took steps toward charting this year's spending plan.

As those attending the second budget meeting of year began reviewing the current figures, Councilwoman Mary Kruczek cautioned that the accuracy of the numbers was in doubt.

Auditors, council members and a local businessman are still struggling to straighten out the borough's finances after more than a year of disarray. The problems include bills not being paid, bank deposits and fee payments not being recorded, and generally poor fiscal housekeeping.

A turnover of secretary/treasurers has compounded the troubles. Nicole (Tessitore) Beckett resigned in March 2010 after six years on the job. Renee Slakoper was hired to replace Beckett, but resigned in May 2011. The borough in July hired Beth Seymour to replace Slakoper. Seymour's first day on the job was Aug. 1. Further, the full-time clerk has been out on medical leave, and the borough recently moved its offices from above the fire company on East Patterson Street to the community center on Ridge Street due to an ongoing mold problem.

Kruczek and businessman Bob Silver have been helping to organize the records.

Because of the disorganization, and because too few council members attended budget meetings in the fall, officials were unable to craft a fresh 2012 budget. So, council in December adopted a 2012 budget that was identical to 2011's, just for the sake of meeting state requirements.

In January, council reopened the budget to try again. A final budget must be in place by Feb. 15, so officials are under the gun.

Council president Rosemary Cannon thanked the council members who attended Thursday's meeting Kruczek, Tommy Vadyak and Samantha Yasson. Cannon said she understood some of the absent members Danielle Smith, Andrew Snyder and Lenny Kovach had to work.

Council members went through the 2011/12 budget line by line. The $1.6 million spending plan is supported by a 32.47 mill property tax levy. That meant the owner of a home assessed at $25,000 paid $811.75 last year.

In other matters, council, following an executive session, agreed to hire Jill Seigendall as a part-time clerk for $8.45 an hour. She will have a flexible schedule, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., for up to 30 hours a week, with a six-month probationary period.

Council meets next at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the community center.