Poised to begin hammering out a 2012 budget amid financial disarray, Lansford Borough Council on Wednesday agreed to seek a firm to take over payroll operations.
The move would free staff to help get the fiscal problems resolved so the borough has a better idea of where its stands financially before it begins the budget process.
Only four members of council were present at the regular public meeting Wednesday: Mary Kruczek, Rosemary Cannon, Danielle Smith and president Adam Webber.
Councilman Lenny Kovach was busy working with the borough work crew to fix rain-related drainage problems. Councilman Tommy Vadyak was absent, and Councilman Andrew Snyder has not attended meetings since being charged Sept. 1 with two counts of receiving stolen property and firearm ownership-duty of other persons related to his purchase of two guns that turned out to have been stolen from another borough man.
Kruczek moved to seek proposals from at least three firms to do the payroll. Council earlier this month hired a company to come in to help get the borough's financial house in order. Kruczek has been volunteering her time to help as well.
In other matters, council voted 3-1, with Smith opposing, to allow a six-month trial of a drug tip hot line at a cost of $200. The hot line number will be published in the TIMES NEWS. The number allows people to call in anonymously to a voice mailbox only accessible to police, said Police Chief John Turcmanovich.
Smith said the hot line would be a waste of money, as people would be calling in on matters police were already investigating.
In other matters, council heard from residents Rita Klekamp and Mary Ellen Ogozalek, who questioned officials about what could be done to force owners of neglected properties to clean up their acts. Council shares their frustration, but said it is doing all it can to get people to comply with borough property codes.
Council deadlocked in a tie vote to begin work on resolving a flooding problem at Cortright and West Ridge streets. Borough engineer Eric Snyder offered a two-phase, $35,730 proposal that calls for borough workers to perform the first part of the project.
Also on Wednesday, council denied a handicapped parking space to 825 E. Ridge St. because there is off-street parking available and granted a handicapped parking space to 265 E. Bertsch St.