More information sought about sewer expenses
East Penn Township paid Bowmanstown $271,183 for sewage capacity service when it connects the new West Bowmans sewer to the Bowmanstown treatment plant. Four $50,000 CDs will be purchased and the remainder will go into the sewer fund.
A question on the sewer treasurer's report showed a Nov. 3 cost was for having to pump out grease. Councilman Troy Muffley said the council should be informed by the operator, Portland Contractors, when there are any charges except the most minor.
Councilman Chad Everett is to inform Craig Labarre of Portland that more information is required.
On the general report Councilman William Ravert said the borough will be coming out with a surplus of $28,000 in the 2009 budget though he had been worried it would run short.
The zoning office reported there were 32 building permits issued with total fees of $2,110 in 2009. An application for a rental unit at the Prince plant was denied.
A resolution setting the time for sewer lateral repairs at 10 days was passed. The leak off Ore Street has not been completely repaired though the homeowner was notified.
Bowmanstown Fire Company answered nine calls in November and had expenses of $27,754, reported Norman Engel.
Mayor Keith Billig reminded council if it wants to pass a solicitation ordinance it should have permit forms ready.
Ravert said the type of lights in the municipal and garage buildings will no longer be made after 2012. He said they should be proactive and look into replacements. Councilman Ernie Guldner said the lights at the fire company have been replaced but the newer type do not hold up.
Ravert has been checking prices on fuel and found Heller was $1.30 cents cheaper at $1.75 a gallon than other quotes for propane and Ohl seems to be the best for diesel at $2.55. Secretary Tracy Burbage is to check on the cost, if any, to remove the old propane tanks.
Ravert said Health America has cheaper insurance and that the change is acceptable to employees. The change will be made.
Everett reported a meeting with the Department of Environmental Protection went well. It hinges on what happens in the next six months as East Penn comes on line. That will depend on the sewer operator, said Billig.
The upgraded pumps have been received and will be installed by Portland Contractors in January. The $24,000 cost each is to be borne by East Penn.
Guldner went to a Council of Governments meeting in Lehighton. It was well attended by the municipalities. The purposes are to set up an organization to buy in quantity. PennDOT will be asked about its willingness to stock a large supply of salt in Mahoning and let the municipalities pick up what they need instead of storing at their own locations. Three of the municipalities need trucks and could get them cheaper than through the state piggy-back program. They also discussed the purchase and sharing of equipment such as a leaf vacuum.
It will not be known until March if the borough will receive a Community Development Block Grant. The six municipalities listed in the TIMES NEWS are entitled. Remaining money is available for other municipalities. There was discussion about where dirt to be removed when Lime Street is paved will be placed. They will talk to the engineer. One possibility is to use it as fill at the playground in Lower Towamensing. It was decided it was not a good idea to dump it at the East Penn location where Walsh is dumping dirt from the turnpike even through the borough owns that site.
Billig returned the burning ordinance unsigned giving his reasons that it allowed too much burning when garbage is picked up every week and recyclables every two weeks. He would be satisfied with a "no burning" rather then regulated burning ordinance. He also said people did not want a transfer station because of the "smell" so why would they want the smell of burning at homes.
The council voted to not overturn the mayor's veto so it goes back to the original ordinance. Councilman Pam Leiby said the borough would lose $1,000 without the regulation of burning recyclables.
The water authority has raised the base monthly rate for water from $20.50 to $25.50 as of Feb. 1. Engel asked if council could challenge the increase.
Council President Burdell Steigerwalt said council has the right to ask why the increase is needed.
Billig asked if the authority has the legal right ro raise the fee. Engel said it should be put on a list to ask Solicitor Jim Preston.