Evans to fill council vacancy
Tamaqua councilman Dan Evans resigned the remaining three months of his elected term and was then sworn in to fill the remaining term of the late Ken Smulligan (ending 2015) during the borough council's meeting Tuesday night.
In addition, numerous other topics were brought up during the meeting.
In attendance during the meeting were Police Chief Rick Weaver, Mayor Chris Morrison, Solicitor Michael S. Greek, secretary Georgia Depos-DeWire, council president Micah Gursky, borough manager Kevin Steigerwalt and councilmen Brian Connely, Dave Mace, John Trudich and Dan Evans.
In other business, Chief Weaver asked the borough to purchase a new police car, stating that they will be replacing the department's 2004 Dodge. He added the borough could receive the car in January 2014, but wouldn't have to pay for it until 2015.
Trudich rebutted the idea, stating, "It is not in the budget."
Connely added, "If you expect police to do their job, give them the tools to do it." Connely also added it is easier to budget payments than a lump sum. After a heated discussion between Trudich and other councilmen, no motion was given concerning the purchase of a new car.
Weaver also asked that the parking ordinance include expired, suspended and revoked license plates.
In other business:
- The borough also approved the Tamaqua Lions Club Halloween's parade path, set for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. As in the past, the parade will assemble on East Broad St., in the vicinity of the old Maff Motors, and proceed west on Broad Street.
Due to the bridge construction, the parade will turn north on Greenwood Street, west on Mauch Chunk Street, south on Pine Street, and west on Broad Street, where the routine route will continue.
Band buses will proceed to Swatara Street to pick up marchers after the parade. In addition, East End Avenue will be made a one way going west from Laurel to Columbia Street to allow for easy drop off of Tamaqua band and soccer teams at the M&M Self Storage lot. Parking will be restricted along the new parade route.
- Council approved the one-day closing of Nescopec Street, between Rowe and West Broad Sts., for a ride event being held inside and outside at the Elks Lodge on Oct. 12.
- Other correspondence included a request from Tamaqua Girl Scout Rachael Paisley asking borough council and Tamaqua residents and businesses to decorate their homes pink on Oct. 20 in recognition of breast cancer awareness. She also asked to decorate street lights pink in preparation for the event.
- Steigerwalt added that a hearing involving the future of a condemned property at 216 Pitt Street was rescheduled for Oct. 17 at 1:15 p.m. He added that anyone can call the borough for more information. Neighbor Frank Morris, 218 Pitt Street, thanked the borough officials for their efforts regarding the property.
- Gursky stressed for local residents to keep a sharp eye on area judgicial sales to prevent distant landlords from purchasing properties.
- Steigerwalt said the the borough workers' compensation insurance premium was raised from $136,190 to $184,607. He added that this determination, by the Seltzer Group of Schuylkill Haven, was based on claim history for the past four years. In addition, the cost of risk/compensation rose from $104,888 to $109,984.
- Steigerwalt mentioned that the demolition to 208 Gay Street is complete.
- Council announced the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Tamaqua Baseball Association's Dutch Hill Playground, which is today at 6 p.m. Morrison stated his appreciation of the association's efforts in creating the park.
- During the meeting, East End resident Ray Bonetsky complained of a road depression at the intersection of Federal and East Broad Sts. He has been complaining over a year about this issue, and told the borough that every time a large vehicle goes through the intersection, he hears a loud bang. Morrison and Steigerwalt said they will both look into it and possibly forward the issue to PennDOT for review.
- Resident Justin Startzel, who will serve as Tamaqua Councilman Jan. 1, asked the borough if members of the South Ward Playground could close Cherry Street for a Tamaqua Raider Pep Rally on Oct. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. The motion was granted.
- Georgine Wentz, longtime member of the Owl Creek Reservoir Commission, talked to the council about the importance of having adequate parking space prior and during their events. She discussed concerns of current vehicles parked on the lot. The council said they will send a letter to the owner of the truck, asking him to move his vehicles during repairs and events.
-Councilmen adopted the updated fee schedule. The schedule will include an amendment stating that the fee to rent the bungalow pavilion be $100.
- Gursky spoke a little about City Revitalization Investment Zones (CRIZ), which, he said, encourage commercial and business development.