Traffic issues continue to plague the borough of Tamaqua.
Council heard from several residents in various areas of the borough regarding high volumes of traffic and drivers traveling at high rates of speed.
Members of the Bickleman family, who live on Lafayette Street, reported another hit-and run-incident involving their parked vehicle. Several other residents of the area also expressed concerns for pedestrians crossing in the areas near Trinity church and the iron steps. Joe Salla, of Owl Creek, said that speeding is an ever-present problem along Owl Creek road.
Year-to-date, the Tamaqua police department has issued 1,496 traffic citations, compared to 325 at this point last year. However, Chief Rick Weaver said the number of crashes in the borough has decreased.
Sue Shafer, the borough's humane officer, informed council that a property owner who had given permission for feral cats to be trapped on his property had been cited under the borough's ordinance which prohibits feeding feral cats.
Shafer said that she had been working with a volunteer in the neighborhood to help trap the cats and now the volunteer feels badly that the property owner was cited and does not want to continue volunteering.
Shafer said that if the traps are visible, it is obvious that the feeding is being done in conjunction with the trap and release program and the owners should not be cited. Council said they will review the matter and asked Shafer to inform the code enforcement officer where the programs are being carried out.
Council approved a proposal from Lenape Solar of Sunbury. The company performed an energy audit on several borough buildings and made several recommendations to retrofit fixtures in order to save the borough money. The projected cost for eight projects, including the police department and the water and sewer facilities, is $54,140; however, a portion of that will be funded by PPL, which is mandated by the State to help reduce power demand.
The borough's share will come to about $24,239. According to Councilman David Mace, the paybacks from some of the projects could come as quickly as four months. "The paybacks are so advantageous, we would be foolish not to seriously consider this," he said. Council approved several of the projects.
Council received a letter from Andrew Leibenguth expressing an interest in filling a vacant seat on borough council. The term would be for the remainder of Councilman Dan Evans' term, which will be filled following the November elections. Evans resigned from his seat in order to fill the seat left vacant when Councilman Ken Smulligan passed away unexpectedly earlier this year.
Council approved a motion to retain John H. Gartner Jr. as a full-time water treatment plant operator. Gartner's probationary period was completed satisfactorily.
Council approved a three-year lease agreement with no down payment from Community Leasing Partners for a 2014 Ford police sedan.
Council received a letter from Georgine Wentz who resigned from her position with the Owl Creek Reservoir Commission.
Council received notice from the tax claim bureau regarding the repository sales of three properties, one at 524 E. Elm St., one at 301 Railroad St., and one at 345 East Union St. Council President Micah Gursky reminded residents to keep an eye out for the judicial and repository sales. "If you or your neighbors don't buy them, someone else might," he said. The repository sales offer the property free and clear of any liens. The properties are frequently sold for a few hundred dollars.
Weaver informed council that the police department received $10,000 from the District Attorney's office for their narcotics work.
Certificates of Appropriateness were approved for signage changes at the Sovereign Bank on East Broad Street and an awning installation at Hope'sminimart on West Broad Street.