Two area boroughs filed civil suits Monday afternoon in Schuylkill County court against a business firm alleging a breach of contract pertaining to operating their street lighting systems.

The suit was brought against Municipal Energy Management Inc., (MEM) of Moscow, Lackawanna County. and its officers by Tamaqua and Coaldale boroughs.

Tamaqua is seeking damages in excess of $450,000 and Coaldale in excess of $150,000. The officers of the company cited were Robert J. Kearns, president, and Patrick McLaine, secretary and treasurer.

The two boroughs entered into an agreement with the company for the purchase and management of its street light systems. The suit alleges MEM guaranteed that each borough would save money over a length of time and further alleges the company agreed to pay each borough's financing costs for borrowing the money and to complete the purchase of the street lighting system.

It is claimed the company has not made financing payments on behalf of either borough, has failed to pay in full its sub-contractors, has not handled repair requests and has not remedied any of its alleged contract breaches.

Both boroughs claim in the suit that it is inequitable for the company to retain the payments they made and is seeking to hold the two officers liable.