The Nesquehoning Borough Council passed a one half mill increase on the 2010 budget. A projected expense statement shows a total of $1,245,077.87 for the upcoming year.

In the absence of Don DeMarco, president, the meeting was conducted by David Hawk A reorganizational meeting will take place on January 4 at 6 p.m. at the borough office.

Anthony Mele, resident of New Columbus, asked council when the vacant Sparich residence would have something done to it. He said he asked the same question two years ago and it is still standing on East Columbus Avenue. Solicitor Robert Yurchak said that he wrote a letter and Sparich is interested in turning the home over to the borough.

Chief of Police Sean Smith read his police report. Tom Merman, resident, said several months ago he gave information on the paper street in town. Hawk told him there is no new development. Merman told council that he will further investigate the matter. The street was given to Sam Devin and Merman wants to know how a borough street could be given to a resident.

Council went into executive session for 45 minutes. They later came back and reported that they are placing garbage pickers Dave Harrison and Andy Staehle on leave without pay.

Dave Lear from Lehigh Engineering Associates gave a final report to council on the Solar Park. They will be ready to start the project in the Spring. Frank DiMiceli had some questions for the group.They were told that they can not use Park Avenue for their equipment trucks to drive on.

Mayor Tony Walck gave a report on the new police office under construction at the Recreation Center.The solicitor said that the new Landlord/Tenant Ordinance has been adopted and the rule is three strikes and they are out and the landlord gets fined.

Mary Fox, new in-coming council member, was told that she can stay on as a member of the Planning Commission if she would like.

Brian White, new part time police officer in training, is now riding in the police cruiser alone while Patrolman Carl Breiner is on duty during the same shift.The mayor said that Brian is working outvery well.

A Crime Watch meeting is scheduled forJanuary 12 at 7 p.m. at the borough office.

The borough will get quotes from snow-plowing companies for the future in case needed.

Michael Sniscak made a motion to purchase a tarring machine that the borough will not have to pay for. The $45,000 will be taken from the Liquid Fuels account and will be ready on January 1.The motion was tabled until Sniscak gets something in writing from the manufacturer.

Dawn Jacobs was approved to serve on the Nesquehoning Recreation Commission.

Mark Stromelo, Sanitation chairman, said they need to advertise for bids for part-time garbage pickers. He also wants to advertise for a new one, three, and five year collection contract before the next meeting on January 27.

DiMiceli said that the borough can not afford the price of lights in the New Columbus Park. One will be installedat the Earl Johnson Park though. The mayor told him that, "We don't want to disappoint the residents in New Columbus." They will figure out a way for the borough workers to install the lights.