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Palmerton councilwoman resigns

Published November 12. 2010 05:02PM

A Palmerton Borough councilwoman has resigned from her seat.

Council unanimously agreed on Thursday to accept the resignation of Councilwoman Sherri Malik.

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson said council accepted Malik's resignation "with regret."

"She's relocating out of town, and she had to resign her position on council and the Civil Service Commission," Danielson said. "We're looking for replacements for both."

Danielson said interested candidates have until Nov. 24 to submit their letters of intent to the borough.

Whomever is chosen to replace Malik on council must fill the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2011. Likewise, her term on the Civil Service Commission also expires Dec. 31, 2011.

Danielson said Malik served five years on council.

"We would like to see a little variety," he said. "It doesn't have to be long and involved; something just showing their interest will be enough."

Also on Thursday, council agreed to allow Glace Associates to conduct a construction review that could allow the borough to apply for PennVEST money for its new estimated $10 million wastewater treatment plant.

"When the amount is in excess of $10 million, they require an independent review to review your engineer's estimates," Danielson said. "The proposal by Glace is to do that second review for us."

Danielson said council will await to see if it will be necessary for the borough to go ahead and pursue PennVEST money.

Last month, council announced a bid opening for the wastewater treatment plant will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 16.

At that time, Danielson said construction of the new wastewater treatment plant could begin early next year.

In August, council on a 5-0 vote approved the acceptance of Carbon County bond financing after county commissioners approved an interest reduction loan that will issue economic development bonds.

The loan will result in about a $400,000 savings to the borough over the course of a 30-year bond issue, Danielson previously said.

The bonds are available through federal stimulus money, also known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

In June, the borough applied for an H2O grant in the amount of $8,164,530 to help afford a new wastewater treatment plant.

That decision came after council in April authorized Danielson and borough solicitor Michael Ozalas to prepare a $10 million bond issue after it learned the project would cost more than expected.

For residents, that will mean about a $17-18 increase in their monthly sewer bill rate, which could go into effect by Jan. 1, 2011.

As of January, the project was expected to cost the borough about $6.5 million; however, engineer estimates pushed the project's cost higher.

In an unrelated matter, council approved the borough Planning Commission's request for a zoning ordinance amendment.

"Council did decide to ask the Planning Commission to come back with some proposed changes to the zoning ordinance to address smaller lot developments in the West End planned development zone," Danielson said. "The zoning ordinance as it's currently structured is highly restrictive in terms of the development of small parcels."

Finally, council agreed to renew building leases for the second and third floor of the borough's municipal services office.

As part of the agreement, the lease will be renewed for five years with Carbon County, Danielson said.

The second floor houses the office of District Magistrate Bruce Appleton, while the third floor houses a Carbon County Office on Aging office.

Council's next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 23.

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