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Housing rehab officer hired

Published March 17. 2010 05:00PM

The Borough of Tamaqua has hired Daniel Schroeder, of Barnesville, as housing rehabilitation officer.

Schroeder is no stranger to the borough, having worked as an architectural planning and construction consultant on many of the projects that have been completed over the past few years, including the design work for the Tamaqua Train Station and the Shepp House, and the facade of La Dolce Casa restaurant. He has also consulted on the Southward Neighborhood Plan and the Carriage Street stairs.

Schroeder will take over for longtime borough employee, Richard Skasko, who passed away unexpectedly in December. Council set his salary at $40,000.

Council also hired another part-time police officer, Dale Osenbach, of Tamaqua, bringing the total part time officers to 10.

Council encouraged Tamaqua residents to review the properties that will be offered for judicial sale on April 29. There are 21 borough properties that will be sold.

"It is sold free and clear of any liens," said council President Micah Gursky, who is hoping to prevent the sale of the properties to out of town landlords, who may use the properties as assets, but have no interest in maintaining or fixing them up.

Mayor Christian Morrison added that there are low interest loans available to the public for housing rehabilitation projects. Gursky added that many of the properties are in disrepair and would require being brought up to code; however, several are also vacant lots that would be ideal for neighbors to acquire to expand their property. A complete list of the properties can be obtained from the borough.

The borough has rescheduled the public auction of the property at 23 Market St. for March 24, at 3 p.m., in council chambers.

Council voted not to pay a $1,333 bill from the Schuylkill Tax Collection Committee, the group that has been established as required by Act 32, to develop a means to collect earned income tax on a countywide basis. According to borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt, the bill is to cover administrative costs, including a solicitor, a secretary, and a request for RFPs for a tax collector. Although the county has until 2012 to implement the tax collection system, Councilman John Trudich, one of the borough's representatives to the committee, indicated that the group is having trouble deciding how to allocate votes.

Every municipality and school district in the county is represented on the committee. Gursky added that with that $1,333 bill, this new process has already cost the borough $1,333 more than having its own designated tax collector. Council voted to send letters of dissatisfaction with Act 32 to state Sen. David Argall and state Rep. Jerry Knowles.

Council voted to acquire ID badges for all borough employees and officials who might need identification. The cost of the badges is $6. According to Councilman Brian Connely, the borough has discontinued the practice of requiring uniforms for staff, as a cost-saving measure, and the ID badges will provide identification instead. Upon the recommendation of Councilman David Mace, council formed a Web site committee, to look into developing a Web site for the borough.

Diakon Senior Services will be distributing senior farm market nutrition vouchers on Tuesday, June 1, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Tamaqua Community Center.

Council discussed the replacement of windows in the borough's water department garage. Currently, the borough is looking to block in several of the windows to the rear of the building, and replace the other windows in kind. Since the building is in the historic district, it will require HARC approval for any kind of repairs and replacements. Council issued a certificate of appropriateness for a sign at 14 W. Broad St.

A handicap parking space was issued for 65 S. Nescopec Street. Parking and traffic committee Chairman Steve Tertel said that street sweeping will resume shortly. Streets will be posted prior to being swept.

Council tabled a vote to establish the pass fees for the Bungalow pool. Connely suggested reviewing the daily rates for in town and out of town patrons. Opening day for the pool will be June 5. Kyle Smith was hired as the manager, at a rate of $12 per hour. Shannon Hoben was hired as assistant manager for $10 per hour. Adrian Bumbulsky was hired as an assistant pool manager on an as-needed basis.

Council also approved a request from Girl Scout Service Unit 310 to hold its day camp at the Bungalow pavilion on July 9-10, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and to waive the rental fee for the event.

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