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Lansford Borough is closer to moving its offices

Published October 27. 2011 05:01PM

Lansford borough council on Wednesday took another step toward moving its offices, at least temporarily, from above the American Fire Co. No 1 building on Patterson Street to the community center on Ridge Street.

On a motion by Councilman Tommy Vadyak, council agreed, with Danielle Smith and President Adam Webber opposed, to start revamping the electrical system in the community center to accommodate the offices and equipment.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Cannon said that, according to figures from Keystone Engineering, it would cost $3,420 to do the wiring. Setting up the computers would cost an additional $195, according to Jeffrey Leslie of LEZTECH.

Further, making the community center handicapped accessible would cost an estimated $20,047.50, Cannon said. She said $20,000 in Community Development Block Grant money could be moved for the project.

Councilwoman Mary Kruczek questioned whether handicapped accessibility would be required, given the move was to be temporary. Vadyak proposed asking the engineer about that, and council agreed.

In other matters Wednesday, resident and former mayor Bob Silver presented a petition, signed by 87 people, "urging council to stop spending on the dilapidated fire house building."

Silver also addressed comments from Rita Klekamp, president of Lansford Concerned Citizens, who sent a letter to council earlier in the month in which she outlined her reasons for opposing the petition.

Council accepted, but did not comment on the petition.

Also, Cannon thanked the borough police department for its work on a recent stabbing in the borough. The entire police department turned out to work on the incident, which occurred on Oct. 20, In addition, two officers each from Coaldale, Summit Hill and Nesquehoning, the American Fire Co. No. 1 and Mayor Ron Hood, all pitched in.

Within an hour, Police Chief John Turcmanovich said, both areas involved were secured and guarded and four people are in custody and being interviewed. Two state troopers helped with the interviews and documentation, he said.

"They worked well together and cooperated fully," Cannon said of the police and firefighters.

Also on Wednesday, council:

• Will review four applications from firms interested in handling the borough's payroll and may decide on one when council meets next on Nov. 9. They are Innovative Employee Solutions, Lehighton, which currently handles some borough billing; Riley and Company, Inc., Mt. Pocono; Autony, Weatherly; Pennsylvania Payroll Corp., Pottsville.

• Argued over how a new contract for Turcmanovich is being negotiated. Vadyak, Cannon and Kruczek contend Webber needs to include all of council in proposals before entering negotiations, but is not doing that. Further, Councilman Lenny Kovach was added to the negotiating committee and Councilman Andrew Snyder stepped down. Contract negotiations have gone on for more than a year, Turcmanovich said.

• Thanked Cannon for her work in cleaning the community center, where council holds its meetings.

*Thanked Jim Thorpe National Bank for donating a computer to the borough office;

• Took no action on an application for a police officer's job from Ryan P. Kennedy;

• Referred the matter of whether a parking space in the 200 block of West Ridge Street should or should not be blocked off to the Public Works Committee;

Wednesday's public meeting began with a moment of silence for the late Stephen Brunda, a local historian who spearheaded a number of projects in the borough, including the creation of the Panther Valley Public Library.

At Cannon's request, council also honored Mayor Hood's brother, former firefighter and Panther Valley teacher David Hood, who also recently passed at age 36.

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