After a lengthy and often ugly argument, Lansford borough council on Wednesday agreed to take $154,000 from a certificate of deposit to pay bills.
"There's not enough money to pay the bills and still be able to meet payroll without borrowing from another account," said Council president Rose Mary Cannon.
"We have money sitting in CDs, and people are waiting for their bills to be paid," she said.
Council spent a significant amount of time casting blame and arguing loudly about money matters.
Cannon and Councilman Tommy Vadyak argued at length over a long-overdue payment to Radocha excavating. Vadyak also questioned why the borough was not collecting various fees. Councilman Lenny Kovach said some bills qualified to be paid from the liquid fuels account, and grilled secretary-treasurer Beth Seymour about why bills weren't being paid. Seymour said that when she was hired in August, she was not allowed to make payments because the finances were being audited.
Vadyak was angry about how some bills are being paid.
"We've been paying bills without the authorization of full council," he said.
Cannon said that at a previous meeting, council agreed to pay the bills as soon as funds were available. Be that as it may, Vadyak said, the borough still needs council's approval to pay the bills.
Vadyak also wanted to know how council planned to pay back the money borrowed from the CD. He pointed to the substantial amounts council has borrowed from the borough's sewer transmission fund and not repaid. The sewer transmission fund is an account meant to ensure enough money is available to repair sewer infrastructure. It is fed by annual fees assessed to residents.
Vadyak, furious, demanded that the borough cut costs, beginning with laying off the zoning/code office employees.
In a related matter, Kovach suggested the borough drop a Weatherly company that was hired to do payroll, saying it was an unnecessary cost and that Seymour could do the job herself. His proposal triggered another round of protected and angry argument.
Council voted down Kovach's motion 4-2, with councilwoman Danielle Smith absent.