Lansford Council scolded
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Lansford resident Rita McIntyre Klekamp takes borough council to task for its failings.
Lansford resident Rita McIntyre Klekamp, president of Lansford Concerned Citizens, took council to task Wednesday on a number of items, including the borough's deteriorating buildings.
"Not to take this personally, but council is inept. If you are unable or unwilling to fulfill the obligations of your office, I will call in the state to see if we can get assistance for the citizens," she said.
"Buildings in town are deteriorating and owners are not being held accountable," Klekamp said.
Klekamp also said council was dragging its feet on resolving problems at the borough offices above the American Fire Co. No. 1 at 26-28 East Patterson St.
Remediation needs to be done to eliminate mold in the offices.
But that can't be done until the leaky roof is replaced.
Also, the new furnace can't be tested for the same reason.
Assistant secretary Karen Burrell said the insurance check for the roof was received about a month ago, prompting council to agree to contact the borough engineer to have specifications drafted so a company can be hired.
Klekamp also asked why windows in the building are not being opened to allow air to circulate to keep mold down. Councilwoman Mary Kruczek said she would contact Councilman Lenny Kovach, who is in charge of the borough work crew but was absent from the meeting, to direct them to do that.
Klekamp also referenced a $250,000 matching grant obtained by Burrell. Council was reluctant to accept the grant because it is unsure if it would be able to raise the match. But, Klekamp said, "How much would it cost to demolish the building? And are we going to be left with a town full of asphalt parking lots?"
She also questioned why grass is being cut in the borough parks while the storm sewers are not being cleared of dirt and debris. Klekamp said the grass isn't growing fast in this hot weather, but the sewers need to be cleaned to avoid flooding.
Klekamp scolded council members, who have been divided and squabbling, with Tommy Vadyak, Mary Kruczek and Rosemary Cannon on one side and Andrew Snyder, Lenny Kovach, Danielle Smith and president Adam Webber on the other.
"I, as a citizen and president of the Concerned Citizens, am researching the possibility of having borough and (Panther Valley) school district taxes placed in an escrow fund until appointed leaders of the various governing bodies begin to move beyond personal agendas, and improve quality of life for the people living in the community," Klekamp said.
"What are we getting for the taxes we are paying? We see nothing more than bickering, backbiting, and bing, with absolutely no action. Issues need to be addressed, not tabled constantly" she said. "We, the citizens, will continue to monitor the situation, and will provide you with feedback as necessary."
Vadyak said he agreed with Klekamp.
"I'd love to see the state come in," he said.
Council proceeded to discuss the slowness in taking action, the lack of community interest and attendance at meetings and the fact that the community center is not cleaned regularly.
"As a group of people, you simply cannot work together," Klekamp said.