The night before a looming snowfall, snow removal was a hot button issue at the Lansford Borough Council monthly meeting Wednesday evening.
A full council, including newest member, Samantha Yasson, a former council member who was sworn in Tuesday to fill a vacant seat, listened as a packed room of concerned citizens voiced their opinions regarding the snow removal in the borough.
Resident Don Gildea brought up the issue of side of street parking and removal on narrow alleyways, noting that he had received three tickets after the storm on Feb. 5.
Mayor James Romankow stated that third party plows have created some confusion. He said the borough has an ordinance and rules about parking during snowstorms and if those third party plows clear the snow, cars are not allowed back on the other side just because the snow has been cleared.
Charlotte Strohl complained that an orange plow truck had gone by her residence at a high rate of speed and had covered her sidewalk with more ice and snow than she could reasonably clear off, and that others in her neighborhood also had similar complaints.
Romankow addressed the issue, "We will do what we can to tell borough workers where to plow, not to drive fast, and to aim the plow so it doesn't go on the sidewalks."
It was also noted that since one of the borough workers is currently on disability the snow removal is down to two borough workers.
"The main purpose of our workers is to keep the streets clean and open," said councilman Joseph Butrie.
Councilwoman Rose Mary Cannon added that the shortage of equipment and manpower means that people need to be responsible for keeping their driveways open and their sidewalks clear.
Borough Council President Martin Ditsky confirmed that the road salt supplies were low, though more had been ordered but was not yet delivered.
Former councilman Lenny Kovach added, "The more snow you put behind your car, the more likelihood of getting it put on your sidewalk" by a plow.
He said residents need to be responsible for getting their snow cleared so the plows can be most efficient. Pushing snow into the street can result in a fine, and if people help out the borough by doing their part, it will assist with the removal.
Another item brought to the table was the issue of which ambulance service would serve Lansford. Josh Kulp, with the Eastern Pennsylvania EMS Council, said it was unlikely that the Lansford ambulance service would be back up due to licensing. Joni Gestl of the Lehighton Ambulance Association asked that they be considered to provide subscription services to the borough. Council agreed.
Council also voted to have a transmission on the police Ford Expedition fixed by Kovatch Ford; to upgrade police department computers, and to purchase a new printer for the borough.
Joseph Orsulak, Donna Valent, and Robert Gaughan were appointed to the three vacancies on the Zoning Hearing Board.