Jonathan Greiner, a representative from GeoDecisions out of Camp Hill, was on hand Wednesday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Nesquehoning Borough Council to make a presentation on the firm's Rapid Response System.
This high-speed alert notification system is designed to deliver messages via phone, email or text to communities and municipalities in the event of emergencies such as flood, fire, power outages, water boil advisories, road closures or any other type of situation where information needs to be disseminated to the public as quickly as possible.
The web mapping-based interface has the capability to make over 120,000 phone calls or texts per hour. Through the system's email capabilities, things such as newsletters and water quality reports may also be delivered to residents saving the borough money on printing and postage costs.
Costs to utilize the system include a $2,100 setup charge and an annual service feel of $765. Additionally, there will be a 5 cents per 30-second charge for each call made when the system is utilized.
Should council decide to go with the Rapid Response System, residents will need to keep the borough updated with current contact information so that they may be notified during an alert situation.
Fire Chief John McArdle highly recommended the system.
With the future of the county's recycling program looking bleak, Steve Jones of Strona Sanitation approached council with an offer to provide weekly curbside recycling pickup at a rate of $100 per year per address. At the present time, the company only has one truck and driver in operation but is looking to expand the business and has other trucks and drivers on stand-by waiting to provide service.
During the hearing of visitors, resident Harry Miller voiced his concerns regarding the mud and dust that is being scattered all over the roadway on Routes 209 and 54 from trucks hauling out of the cogeneration plant. Accordingly, they are responsible to hose down the trucks and clean the roadways and are not doing so.
Councilwoman Mary Fox noted that after the dumping of ash, without the trucks being hosed off the ash is "blowing all over the place." Not only is the ash being deposited on the roads, but also on automobiles and into the homes of area residents.
Council President Frank Jacobs stated that the situation was "leading to a meeting with the key people, the new owners to address things face to face".
He noted that with communications "by telephone and by letters, things aren't taking place the way they should."
Jacobs also added that "In 2013, we shouldn't have to put up with this."
Three area Cadet Girl Scouts announced to council their intention to clean the parks and some of the cemeteries as part of an Earth Day project to earn the Silver Award.
The Nesquehoning Scouts will partner with Tamaqua area Girl Scouts to rake and sweep the parks, plant flowers and to clean and possibly paint playground equipment on Saturday, April 27 beginning at 9:30 a.m., with a rain date of April 28.
Volunteers to help with their efforts or to donate supplies will be greatly appreciated.
Fire Chief John McArdle addressed council and informed them that the three area fire chiefs met and are considering billing for their services with the monies to be held in a borough managed fund, and then split between the three fire companies at the end of the year. He stressed that the billing would be to the insurance companies and not the residents when their services are required. The additional funds will be used for the upkeep up the three fire companies.
Chief McArdle announced that the next CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course will be held on April 8, 15 and 22 and requested that residents sign up to take the course to be able to assist in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
For more information or to sign-up, contact the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency at (570) 325-3097.
In other matters, council accepted the retirement of sanitation driver Michael D. Kravelk and approved Sal Digilio to replace him beginning April 1.
Council is looking to have a mural painted in council chambers and will approach CCTI to see if there are any students interested in the project.