Slatington council fills vacant position
Sharon Stanley/Special to the Times News Newly appointed Councilwoman Amanda Trelease is sworn in by Slatington Mayor Walter Neidermeyer at Monday's special Slatington Borough Council meeting.
Several pressing issues were discussed, and one acted upon, at a special meeting of the Slatington Borough Council Monday night.
First up, council discussed appointing someone to fill the vacancy left by former President Daniel Stevens, who resigned effective June 1, because he had applied for the position of borough manager.
Councilman Jon Rinker said Amanda Trelease had expressed an interest in serving on council and that, to his knowledge, she was the only person to have done so.
Rinker said that "her family's been around (here) a long time" and that she currently serves as the treasurer and events chairwoman of the Slatington 150th Planning Committee.
When asked to comment, Trelease, a Republican, said simply that she "would hope to serve my community."
Rinker then made a motion to approve resolution R12-14, Section 109 of the borough code, to appoint Trelease. However, solicitor Ed Healy clarified that her term could not run until the end of Stevens' term but instead until the first Monday of January 2016, at which time the individual qualifying in the November 2015 general municipal election, to complete the remaining two years of such term, shall take office.
Council voted 6-0 to approve Trelease's appointment.
Though she was allowed to swear in that night, Healy said Trelease would need a notarized affidavit confirming her residency before she could actually take her seat on council.
Next, council addressed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and possible transfer of responsibility for the sewer facility from the Slatington Borough Authority to the council.
Authority Vice Chairman Laurie Dart-Schnaufer had told council at May 12 meeting that, along with an important letter sent to the authority from the Department of Environmental Protection on May 2, it was the authority's recommendation that the authority be dissolved.
She said the DEP is now requiring the NPDES permittee without financial control over the operation of the sewer facility, in this case the authority, to submit a transfer to the operator who does have control, the council.
"We're ready to go forward with the permit, the transfer of it," said Dart-Schnaufer, who outlined what the authority has done so far in regard to getting all the paperwork in order. "We are asking you to consider the transfer."
"In other words, you don't want to have an authority anymore after all these years?" asked Councilman Bryon Reed.
"We don't feel that any of us on the authority are qualified to do that anymore," Dart-Schnaufer said, adding how much work is involved and that many problems exist at the plant.
She also said "without the money side of it, we can't do it" and that "I'm not sure we've gotten enough assistance and help from you guys that we need to continue to do our work."
"They managed to do it all the years before you," said Councilman Galen Freed, "and they weren't experienced either when they got on."
Reed said he feels the authority is "an extra help to the borough," especially with its five positions, as opposed to council only having three sewer committee positions.
Healy said some conditions at the plant, and getting them ultimately resolved, is what is perhaps concerning the DEP and driving the transfer requirement.
Reed said he thought council should meet with the DEP as soon as possible, and Healy said he will try to arrange such a meeting.