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Lansford appeals for state's help

Published June 14. 2012 05:01PM

Lansford council on Wednesday agreed, with one dissenter, to seek help from the state in getting the borough back on track.

Councilman Tommy Vadyak sought council's support to send a letter to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for "technical assistance" in three categories: police management, finance and administrative/secretary.

His motion was supported by council members Andrew Snyder, Danielle Smith, Samantha Yasson, Lenny Kovach and, with reservations, President Rose Mary Cannon.

Councilwoman Mary Kruzcek cast the sole opposing vote.

Kruzcek questioned Vadyak about the cost of the help. Vadyak said the borough would pay half the cost of whatever assistance the state would provide.

But Kruzcek is concerned because there is no way of knowing how much that would be.

Cannon, too, was concerned about the cost, but said "we can always stop it" if the expenditures climbed too high.

Vadyak said the help is needed. The borough has for years been struggling financially, and with keeping track of expenditures and revenue.

One driving force behind Vadyak's request is that the borough has been routinely siphoning money - more than $450,000 - from its Sewer Transmission Account to pay ongoing bills.

That money, from an annual fee collected from homeowners, is meant to build a reserve that would pay for infrastructure repairs.

Despite recent efforts to straighten out the mess, the borough still seems to be getting nowhere. Council could not even craft a new budget last fall because its financial records were in such disarray.

"We're just spinning our wheels here," Vadyak said. "This borough is going deeper and deeper in debt."

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