Purchase of generator sparks more friction
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Rush Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Gilbert explains at Thursday's meeting that the board took a closer look at how a controversial $65,000 generator was bid out.
A contract negotiated by the previous board of supervisors to purchase a controversial $65,000 generator continues to ruffle feathers in Rush Township.
At Thursday's meeting of the board held at the municipal building, Mahanoy Avenue, Chairman Shawn Gilbert announced that an executive session had taken place Wednesday "to discuss issues relating to the way the generator was bid out."
Gilbert indicated that Air Products & Chemicals "never in any way benefited" from the transaction. In fact, the corporation actually saved the township $5,000 to $10,000 during the process, according to Gilbert.
Gilbert expressed gratitude to Air Products for donating engineering services toward the project, while another township official made clear the corporation's role.
"The contract wasn't written by Air Products. The township prepared the bid specs," explained Bill McMullen, zoning officer.
Still, some of the two dozen in attendance, expressed dismay over the purchase of the standby power generator, echoing sentiments expressed at last month's session regarding the same matter.
The township may have needed a generator, "but it didn't need a monstrosity," expressed resident Pat Tracy.
However, resident George Pinkey, a former board chairman - but not the board involved with the purchase - pointed out that the $65,000 cost also included a concrete base, a fuel tank and controls.
"I'm familiar with the system from when I was on the Coaldale Hospital board," he said.
The idea of entering into such an agreement by what was basically a lame duck board is not a good practice, cautioned Pinkey.
"It might be good politics but it's bad government," he said.
The board opened sealed bids for old trucks and equipment with all items successfully awarded to high bidders who will be notified Friday.
In other action, the board and attendees were united in offering a round of applause and words of gratitude to Sgt. Duane Frederick and township police for their determined action in helping to crack a recent crime spree that had residents on edge for many weeks.
Frederick reported that the police department logged 5,233 miles in February and responded to 488 calls and incidents.
In another police matter, the board approved the reappointment of Robert Minnick as part-time patrolman at the rate of $13.25 an hour. His name was inadvertently omitted during reorganization.
Also approved was a resolution for the transfer of a retail liquor license from Butala's Bar, McAdoo, to Zachary M. Zancofsky, 339 Claremont Avenue.
The board okayed Elden Neifert to attend an LTAP course April 26 at the Schuylkill Community Education Center. Also approved was a motion to appoint the assistant secretary to perform duties of secretary of the planning commission.
The board approved a request by St. Jerome Regional School, Tamaqua, to hold a 5K walk/run on Saturday, April 28, using township roads and having an assist by township fire police.
A motion by Robert Leibensperger, vice chairman, for the purchase of a $16,000 pavilion using monies in the recreation fund died for lack of second. However, the matter will be revisited at the next meeting, giving Gilbert, Supervisor Jeannine Motroni and Leibensperger an opportunity to further discuss the matter.
It was noted that residents who sweep up dirt and debris from the winter months may contact the office to schedule pick-up.